Daughter, an English indie folk band, combines airy, ethereal vocals with dreamy-yet-heavy instrumentation that’s well-timed to highlight the talented lead singer in their latest album, Not To Disappear. The album, released on January 15th, features tracks that inspire beautiful imagery and intense feelings.
The album kicks off with New Ways, a light and airy track that has a buildup not unlike ocean waves crashing over the sand at high tide. The backing instrumentation *almost* overpowers the vocals at certain points in a wonderfully overwhelming way. The track is followed by Numbers, another song that seems to favor waves – this time in the form of fluctuating ripples of sound. It’s got driving backing instruments that fade softly during the verses to highlight vocals, which seems to be a theme throughout the album. Doing The Right Thing is fluid and haunting, yet powerful nonetheless with strong lyrics like, “I have lost my children/I have lost my love”. It’s similar to the next song, How, which uses overlapping and crossovers of instruments and vocals to create a light, unearthly sound. At the halfway point in the album, Mothers brings another strong image to mind, one of empty cities and deathly still waters. It has some simpler instrumentation at points, but enough to create a layered effect like the rest of the album. Next, Alone/With You, has a pulsating beat that creates an incredible effect when listened to with headphones. The slow, steady buildup of vocals and instruments allows tension to build as well, releasing some of the energy in the chorus. A change from the light mood of the rest of the album, No Care follows. It’s a more upbeat, fast-paced track that brings to mind bright red hair (think Hayley Williams) and has a driving background beat similar to a heartbeat. Three songs from the end, Daughter returns to the typical sound of the rest of the album with To Belong, which creates an attachment to the song that becomes especially clear when the backing track drops out and leaves not only the bare vocals but also a sense of loss. It’s soft and light, like the next track: Fossa, the longest song on the album (at nearly seven minutes!), is oddly cathartic for the lightness, and has some cool layered/echoing vocals. Finally, the album wraps up with Made Of Stone, which captures the mood of the whole album perfectly in a swelling, building, otherworldly track.
Not To Disappear is the opposite of a “sophomore slump”. It’s a powerful, cathartic album that manages to feel dreamy and heavy at the same time, and creates vivid images like shockingly red hair, Arizona deserts, and fabric blowing in the wind. Getting invested into the music is almost a given, to the point where any major change of sound feels like a deeper shift. Overall, the album is indescribable. To truly understand, as with any good album, it’s necessary to listen.