Earlier this year and roughly three years after releasing their well-received debut album, If You Leave, English trio Daughter have returned with their sophomore effort, Not To Disappear. Released on 4AD in the UK and Glassnote in North America, Not To Disappear builds on the fragile intensity of their debut and delivers a thematically similar affair but with more power and confidence. With the album garnering favorable reviews, the band hit the road for a run of headlining tour dates in North America. Nearing the end of their current run before heading to Australia and Japan, Daughter stopped at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC.
Many of the dates on the current tour have been sold out, and the Cradle was no exception. The room was packed to capacity and the crowd was buzzing as Wilsen took the stage to start off the evening. Led by singer-songwriter Tamsin Wilson, the band quickly mesmerized the crowd with their own brand of melancholy dream-pop. Wilson’s charming demeanor and hypnotic voice was a soft counter to the atmospheric layers of wistful guitar underpinned by restrained but powerful bass and drums. The sparse but emotional songs were warmly received with loud cheers from the attentive crowd and proved to be an ideal lead-in for Daughter.
With anticipation building, the lights slowly faded and the members of Daughter took the stage to an enthusiastic welcome from the eager audience. Backed by an impressive and immersive light show, the trio consisting of singer-songwriter bassist Elena Tonra, Guitarist Igor Haefeli, and drummer Remi Aguilella, began building a lush sonic landscape with a minimalist touch. An added fourth member to the touring band enabled them to create a bit more depth to earlier songs from their catalog while adding some needed pace and power to the songs from Not To Disappear. Throughout the set Daughter delivered songs of heartbreak, loss, and loneliness pulled from their two albums and earlier EPs. Even with the intense emotional weight of Elena Tonra’s expressive lyrics and passionate haunting voice, the atmosphere was surprisingly light.
The performance was spot on and perfectly showcased the bands ability to diversify their sound. Igor Haefeli’s guitar lines ranged from majestic to bombastic while Aguilella’s drumming remained steady and propulsive. The variety kept the audience engaged and energetic as they roared approval throughout the set. Elena was charming and self-effacing throughout, continually thanking the crowd and often giggling at her own inability to provide small talk between songs, at one point begging Igor to talk so she could stop.
There was a triumphant feel to Daughter’s set. They built on the foundation of emotion and atmosphere and managed to transcend the melancholy with confidence and subtle aggression. They provided an unforgettable evening of sonic reflection and catharsis, leaving fans emotionally spent but ultimately refreshed.