In what possibly could have been the coldest night ever – at least, according to my shivering body – as I stood at my usual train platform waiting to go into the glittering lights of Ol’ Melbourne Town; I was cold, excited and somewhat nervous too. (Nervous not for the invalid ticket I was carrying, sorry Metro!) But nervous to see a band that has held a special place in my heart.
I arrived to a dark, smoky and crowded room just as Daughter made their way onto the stage and the roar from the crowd was uplifting. Suddenly I am no longer feeling the cold anymore, a night of warmth has begun. Ever popular London indie outfit Daughter deliver pure, yet husky toned vocals in combination with expansive and crystal-like sonic landscape throughout their entire set.
Beginning with ‘How’, the opening guitar riff of Igor Haefeli rings out like something from the heavens and the crowd begins to sway. Daughter’s new album Not To Disappear features heavily, but their older work ‘If you leave’ are not to be forgotten either. The entire set features haunting melodies and gloomy tone’s which Daughter have been famous for in the past. Throughout the live set the audience can feel the tension created by the vocals, which is subsequently dispersed by the delayed guitar work. The result is pure artistry is an emotional journey like no other.
The true genius of the tracks from Not To Disappear is the added layer of accessibility that occur from Elena Tonra’s lyrics. As opposed to their previous work, Tonra feels as if she is singing for everyone’s sadness. This culminates in ‘Alone/With you’ which sees the description of a loathing she feels for “eating, walking and living alone”. Referencing her hate for unnamed partner “you” in which she exclaims as an alternative: “maybe I should get a dog or something.”
The audience laughs it off, yet sombre tones subtly pervade those who relate, as I myself feel a sense of sadness for the relevance of being alive but not truly living. The creation by Daughter of an emotional journey feels like a natural occurrence, controlled by an entity other than the band itself. Tonra even gets lost in her own thoughts at one point in the set and jokes, “oops I wasn’t ready for that.” ‘Home’ is somewhat of a break from the ambient soundscape that Daughter is known for. This new track changes the tempo of the set and illustrates the band’s immense ability to not be just a one-genre pony, and has the room tapping their feet with more ferocity than the rest of their set.
The pinnacle of the raw sensations is felt when Daughter begin ‘Youth.’ The track, most well-known commercially, has everyone’s eyes away from their smartphones and collectively feeling pure happiness.
The night comes to an end with ‘Fossa’ which can only be described as running through a dark meow and breaking into sunlight. That all familiar husky voice amid delightful harmonies when combined with melodic guitar hooks that sound like they have descended down from heaven itself. It’s this winning combination that can warm even the coldest of Melbourne nights.