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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Crisis Meets Catharsis in new Daughter Album

    Offical album art for Daughters second studio album Not to Disappear. The album deals with the fallouts from life crises.
    Glassnote Records
    Offical album art for Daughter’s second studio album Not to Disappear. The album deals with the fallouts from life crises.

    Much of life is made up of things we refuse to talk about—loneliness, heartache, fear and all those other emotions most people feel constantly but refuse to express outwardly. It takes courage to wear vulnerability as armor, and Not to Disappear, the latest album by London, England trio Daughter, wears its vulnerability well.
        Daughter has been dormant since its debut album If You Leave in 2013. Nearly three years later, the band presents the aftermath of what happened when the figure from the title of their debut album left. The two albums bookend a life crisis in the form of a messy breakup.
        Bad breakups make the world feel like it has come to a standstill. As if a constant of life has been ripped away and suddenly all of life is spent walking on thin air. This feeling pervades Not to Disappear from its opening track “New Ways” to the finale “Made of Stone.” In between is a journey punctuated by atmospheric guitar riffs and lead singer Elena Tonra’s stream-of-consciousness lyrics describing a post-breakup world.
        Daughter brings back its signature quiet-to-loud dynamic in most songs, especially on the track “How.” Going through the pain of a love lost, Tonra questions everything about the breakup. Guitars and drums build a massive wall of sound before Tonra breaks them down with intimate lyrics, once again alluding to how time slows down post-breakup, with lines like “Moving on / Just moving in slow motion / To keep the pain to a minimal / Weightless, only wait for a fall.”
        For an album with such depressing subject matter, Not to Disappear is a surprisingly soothing listen. Few breakup albums are quality bedtime listens, but Not to Disappear qualifies. Tonra’s voice sings of despair but lands as catharsis. Listening to this album is like soaking in a bubble bath while sounds of the apocalypse float in from the windows. That’s the magic of Daughter—to make the difficult parts of life a sweet lullaby.
        The 10 tracks making up Not to Disappear flow together seamlessly, stitching together a journey that begins with “New Ways” and concludes with “Made of Stone”.
    “New Ways” sets the premise for the album: finding a new way to live without that other person. After this intro, Not to Disappear doesn’t limit itself to speaking only on the hardships of a breakup.
    Other heavy subjects are explored throughout the album, including the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on a family in the lead single “Doing the Right Thing” and the difficulty of motherhood in “Mothers.”
    The lone constants are the audience’s companions on the journey: Tonra’s vocals, Igor Haefali’s guitar and Remi Aguilella’s drums.
        Not to Disappear has a happy ending in the closing track “Made of Stone.” After a nine-song roller coaster journey through the difficulties of life, the album finishes with an encouraging conclusion. Despite reasoning that love equates to a face-plant, the song posits that human beings are made of something solid and strong: the memories we all hold coalesced into solid stone.
    In the end, Tonra caps off the album with an uplifting send-off in “You’ll find love, kid, it exists.” Even if life goes through hell to get there, love exists.

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