Old souls have a deeper understanding of the keys to life. They reflect upon a heartbreaking or uplifting situation, almost as if they step outside themselves to assist what is happening in the moment. Elena Tonra is an old soul in her earlier twenties with her band mates, drummer Remi Aguilella and guitarist/boyfriend Igor Harfeli, she knows more to the daunting and haunting parts of life then most of us will ever be able to put a finger on.
Daughter has been plugging away getting their sombre songs out to the world. We are living in the era of EPs. His Young Heart released two years ago, included four well-crafted tracks. “Landfill” is a stand out song, and lyrical the song hits your heart, she sings about being pushed out to sea by someone that she loves, she has been used, and subjected herself to the mental abuse feeling that this love was worth it, the chorus sums it all up “Well this is torturous/ electricity between both of us/ And this is dangerous/ ‘cause I want you so much/ but I hate your guts/ I want you so much/ but I hate your guts.” Within that first song Tonra sets not just the tone of what will be Daughter, but the bar that she will hold herself and her band mates to, and trusting them to craft these songs to the perfection they deserve to be within the madness they hold.
A year later, in 2012, they released the second EPs Wild Youth, “Youth”, which would prove to be the stand out track, landing a spot on Grey’s Anatomy and their first North American Television appearance on David Letterman. “Youth” would prove to make it onto the LP. It’s one of those cold winter night tracks, the kind that if you wrap yourself in a night to reflect while snow dances in the sky, the song will break your heart six ways till Sunday, “ And if you’re in love, then you are the lucky one/ Cause most of us are bitter over someone/setting fire inside for fun/ To distract our hearts from ever missing them/ But I’m forever missing him/ And you caused it.”
Breakdowns; Tonra was interviewed about the new album and it was clear she was uncomfortable talking about song & lyrics meaning, the interviewer pushed and assumed her song writing is directly focused on break-ups, Tonra and Harfeli have been romantically together since the start of the group. If You Leave is about breakdowns, however breakdowns can be direct results of break-ups. A light bulb goes off and in the words of Kurt Cobain “I miss the comfort in being sad.” Sounding as though she is standing alone in her sadness, musical Igor Harfeli and Remi Aguilella compliant her vocals with haunting guitar riffs and drum placement that reflect in the song writing styles and echoes the pain through the 45 minutes debut album. The album falls shorts at some point lacking the lushness that the two EPs held, tracks “Touch,” “Amsterdam” and “Shallows” feel dulled, and pushed.
If you dissect even the strongest of people, you will leaf through heartbreaking loss, and walls that are built to protect them, and at times it can keep some of the best things or people at bay out of fears that have manifest. With the love, laughs, full hearts, moments that linger in the air to breathe live back into something you may have thought had die. “If You Leave” adventures threw the deepest and darkest time in the most intimate way.
Only advice is not to get lost in Daughter “If You Leave.” Appreciate what the trio have accomplished, with seven out of ten solid tracks, these are heavy and well thought out songs about human beings’ fragile nature – being breakable and flawed. Which at time is a lot to take in, and wrap your head around, and at the end of the day there is a lot more beauty in the world and sadness can be beauty, but not all the time.
Key tracks: Smoother, Youth, and Human
Written by Danni Bauer
OurVinyl | Contributor