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by Mark Perlaki

Daughter @ Holy Trinity, Leeds 15/01/2013

London three-piece ready to challenge Sigur Ros

 

Daughter @ Holy Trinity, Leeds 15/01/2013

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It's the fourth outing to Holy Trinity for Daughter, a soft spot saved considering it was their first ever non-London venue, and the following is keen.

Their tour is sold out in advance, the debut album 'If You Leave' (4AD) is scheduled for April, and they might just tug the earlobes of The XX fans nationwide. With a production team that has shaped the sounds of The XX, Maps, Adele and Sigur Ros, it's reassuring to find their sound is one of ambition and rancor. It's a Baltic night to huddle in the pews, scented by old wood, but the atmosphere is charged and shaped by the scales of the deconsecrated church, so much that reverberations are shook from the bass charge thundering through the floorboards and catacombs.

Support comes from Icelandic songstress, Lay Low. Iceland never gets recognition for blues singers, Lay Low may change that. With reverb heavy chords, she strikes a balance between stripped tones and warm, husky hued vocals, and populates her songs with storybook characters.

Daughter are the London-dwelling three-piece Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella, The first strike is invariably of Elena's haunting vocals, like a siren drawing you deeper into her invariably dark, shadowy, broody and morose verse. Sonics build spaces, emotions and moods, while the verse is imagistic - a songbook for the heartbroken, crestfallen, and lovelorn. Guitar arpeggios build to a vortex, as on opener 'Shallows' with the bequest "...come drown with me...", while the dark tale of obsession, 'Landfill', is a leading light, with sonorous vocals and the guitar quickened and tighter in performance, while 'Candles' brings a much needed warmth and jauntiness.

Daughter build and layer their sound in the manner of Sigur Ros, only from spartan riffs and spectral guitar chords. On 'Love', Igor draws a bow across his guitar strings, soundscaping in the manner of Lanterns On The Lake, while use of echo and reverb build songs through eddies, swells, currents and tumultuous waves with Elena's verse tugging the ankles down into the depths, asking "...Did she make your heart beat faster than I could"?

Contrast comes as spaces in the eaves and cloisters are filled with textures and walls of sound, the demons are exorcised on the bitter-sweet melancholia of 'Tomorrow', "...by tomorrow we'll be lost amongst the leaves..." and 'Youth', - "...and if you're still breathing, you're the lucky ones...". Pin-drop silence falls for the leading single, 'Smother', the Freudian confessional "...I sometimes wish I'd stayed inside my mother..." and "suffocator" self-hatred stripped bare and stark. 'Home' finishes on a high note, all rollicking drums and struck chords. The shadows are where Daughter dwell. Under the stairs, in the cupboards, in the hearts chambers.

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