These days, music becomes outdated and forgotten about faster than ever. It seems like everyone knows a guy with a home studio setup where you could lay down a demo, and the technology is there to distribute it as soon as it’s finished; you can write a song in the morning, record it in the afternoon and have it on SoundCloud in time to meet your mates. Although they’re working on a larger and more professional scale, Daughter are preparing to release their second album Not To Disappear a full three years after their debut, yet they’ve managed to retain people’s interest enough to sell out the beautiful 1400 capacity St John-at-Hackney Church, the venue of this evening’s show.
Part of the reason behind Daughter’s continued success comes from one, simple fact: they make brilliant music. Their charming indie rock gives an insight into the mind and heart of frontwoman Elena Tonra, her voice backed by pounding drums and rhythm guitars that build up and hold together the band’s carefully crafted ideass. With their penchant for drastic dynamic changes, tonight’s venue is the perfect setting. Churches are designed for people to sing in and are built to resonate and amplify sound, so when Daughter are in full swing, the audience feels completely surrounded and engulfed by the music.
Many bands struggle when it comes to playing new songs from an unreleased album because the crowd can’t sing or dance along, but Daughter had no trouble with playing a set that was one third new material. Maybe it’s because they were in a church, a place where people to go listen and to reflect, that the crowd are stood in complete silence for almost the entire show. Music is their religion and tonight, Daughter are leading the sermon. Maybe it’s because nobody could afford to get drunk at the bar and the communion wine had been locked away, but everyone stood and listened attentively to the softly-spoken band throughout their set. It was only during ‘Youth’, one of the more popular tracks from their debut If You Leave, that the crowd could be heard singing along under their breath, unwilling to interrupt the performance.
The band appear genuinely thankful for the continued support of their fans, albeit somewhat adorably nervous, with Tonra awkwardly joking her way through explaining to the crowd that she has a very real fear of having a nosebleed on stage. But, that is where the nervousness ends, as Daughter are perfectly in control of their performance and play every song with as much accuracy and even more passion than on their record.
Everyone left the show in eager anticipation of 15th January, when they get to hear the album they have been waiting for. Three years seems like quite a long time between albums, especially for a band that reached such great heights so early on in their career. Nobody would’ve been surprised if they had released more material while still riding high on the wave of success from their debut, be it a second album or a repackaged deluxe edition of their debut with tracks from their early EPs. However, Daughter didn’t rush anything and gave themselves the time they needed, playing shows all over the world including dates with Ben Howard and The National. They perfected their art, and from the sound of the new tracks heard tonight, wrote another fantastic album.
Photos by Dan Hess.