Alternative trio Daughter, have enjoyed a spectacular 2016 since the release of their sophomore record ‘Not To Disappear’ way back in January. A sold out UK & US tour, countless awards and accolades, numerous main stage festival appearances culminate in a sold out hometown headline show at Brixton’s O2 Academy. The decadent venue aptly matches the stature of tonight’s proceedings and the chilling tones of Daughter’s sound.
Beginning with a spine-tingling suite of ‘New Ways’, ‘Numbers’ and ‘How’, the trio confidently quake the rafters and audience members with the moving and mournful sounds of their second record. The gigantic opening bars of ‘Tomorrow’ evoke an equally large positive reaction from the crowds as the chorus is sung back both in unity and often in personal privacy. Daughter’s music has this curious effect to be simultaneously universal and deeply appropriate to certain people and situations. The recognisable chorus of ‘Youth’ is bellowed back by a jubilant audience yet within tones of celebration, the lyrical weight of some of these verses can wound even the most enthusiastic onlooker.
‘Smother’ is designed to devastate, the cold air settling upon the room as all musicians onstage seem to barely move underneath the emotive weight of this standout single. Elena whispers ‘I’m sorry if I smothered you’ to a near silent academy and you can sense souls sinking as each person applies this sentence to their own lost love. Unfortunately ‘Not To Disappear’ album tracks including ‘Mothers’ and ‘Alone/With You’ have not been as readily accepted by the crowds as first album material which is disappointing as these tracks evolve and change when given space to breathe on the vast stage.
‘Doing The Right Thing’ captures every audience member as Elena weaves an overwhelming tale of frustration from the perspective of her grandmother battling Alzheimer’s, this is undoubtedly Daughter’s most brutally honest release to date and in a live setting, it has an indescribable poignancy. Although the set sometimes struggles to translate to the ‘If You Leave’ fanatics, it is performed faultlessly. The musicianship of the three band members is second to none and the addition of lighting production, extra musicians and a visual display enhance tender early EP tracks such as ‘Love’ while the weighty new material becomes impossibly large onstage yet no less wounding.