Chicago – London based band Daughter brought its indie folk rock to the Metro in Chicago last week, giving fans an emotional and magical evening. On album, Daughter is fantastic! Simply brilliant! However, the trio brings it ten fold live. Audience members at the sold-out show calmly and respectfully packed in. This crowd was the most relaxed I’d ever seen a group of people at any Chicago show. Yes, ever! It was as if they were in church about to see the pope or they were packing in to hear a speech from a renowned world leader.
Though, Daughter’s heartfelt songs do deserve to be placed on the highest of pedestals. The trio’s sophomore album, Not To Disappear, was released earlier this year, and I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t end up on some best-of lists come December. It’s a beauty. It’s also incredibly melancholy. But if you’re a fan of Daughter, you know that’s what they’re known for. The band makes music that brings you to tears… but in a good way, of course.
Daughter formed in 2010 and is comprised of twenty-six year-old singer Elena Tonra, from North London, who shares guitar and bass duties with Swiss-born Igor Haefeli, and Frenchman Remi Aguilella, on drums, completes the trio. In 2013, the band released its critically acclaimed debut album If You Leave (4AD/Glassnote), which reached number four on the U.K. Indie Chart. This year, Daughter’s highly anticipated follow-up, Not To Disappear, proved to be every bit as amazing as If You Leave, and on Friday night, fans were able to hear songs from both albums come to life, with exceptional precision.
The night started out with the sweet yet eerie tune “How.” Darkness blanketed the stage, before warm yellows and oranges illuminated Tonra, then Haefeli, and finally Aguilella. Eventually bright, white lights would shine upon the stage, exposing the backdrop: a blown-up print of the beautiful painting featured on the cover of Not To Disappear. Tonra’s angelic voice echoed through the venue. Fans applauded wildly between songs, but overall, they were quiet and focused during performances. Fan favorites like “Numbers, ” “Smother,” and “Youth,” drew loud cheers. The irresistible beat of “No Care” had people dancing and moving hands back and forth in the air, while “Doing The Right Thing” left the mesmerized crowd still, watching and listening awe.
The night was magical. Daughter was dazzling, from start till finish, when the band concluded with “Fossa.” Also wonderful was Brooklyn-by-way-of-England band Wilsen, which is fronted by singer-songwriter Tamsin Wilson. Last month Wilsen released the the gorgeous single “Centipede.” Wilsen’s music has often been compared to that of Daughter’s, so the pairing worked well, with each band complimenting one another’s luscious indie-folk.
Daughter is currently touring North America. A full list of tour dates is available on the Daughter Facebook page.
After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.
You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.