Daughter are perhaps one of the most quietly superb bands on the planet, if that makes any sense. I was introduced to Daughter by mere chance in early 2015. Ben Howard, one of my favorite musicians, had announced a show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City with Daughter as the support act. Upon listening to the three piece I was instantly a fan. A group with a sound falling somewhere between London Grammar and The xx, they would go on to absolutely blow me away with their performance. “This is the biggest venue we’ve ever played” said lead singer Elena Tonra some way into their set. They later would walk off the stage to a well deserved standing ovation.
Four months later, we are presented with a second album from Daughter and boy does it feel different. Their debut, If You Leave, was a generally calm affair in comparison. With a lot of echoing riffs and soothing melodies, Not To Disappear starts with a five-and-a-half minute epic in the form of New Ways (probably the best track on the album). New Ways sets a harsher tone for the rest of the album, a tone that we never really saw on their debut. A tone that works, well mostly.
Not To Disappear is a fairly dark album, and while this works extremely well for much of the album there are times when it goes a little too far. Alone/With You is perhaps the clearest example of this. It is more or less four minutes of Tonra citing what she hates, and it gets a little boring after about the first minute. However this is the only real blip on the album, Not To Disappear does very well at expanding the groups sound and giving them more of an impact both lyrically and instrumentally.