Daughter – If You Leave
If You Leave is not an album for the impatient. With an average track length of around 8 minutes, and triumphant closer Shallows weighing in at 11, Daughter’s awaited début wants us to stop and consider. Elena’s smoky vocals helm a thoughtful voyage across a wintry soundscape, carved by Igor’s shimmering guitar-work and Remi’s retracted beats. Fortunately, the experience is bracing, like plunging into icy Scandinavian waters: lyrically candid and acoustically fresh.
Traces of The xx’s ambient post-punk give nods to the LP’s production heritage, and while such dreamy, contemplative solemnity is no stranger to 4AD’s portfolio, Daughter’s trump card is surely their lyricism. From disarming maturity (“All my children can become me / What a mess I leave”, Smother) to musings on our own fragility (“Underneath this skin there’s a human”, Human), the vulnerable poetry offsets the confident music beneath. With meditations on innocence and responsibility, If You Leave is necessary tonic in more cavalier and restless times. [George Sully]