Glassnote / 4AD (label)
07 April 2023 (released)
03 May 2023
For those who ordered early, a bonus CD of Daughter’s 2016 gig at London’s Brixton Academy comes alongside vinyl copies of Daughter’s new album, Stereo Mind Game.
That gig itself – reviewed here by Music News at the time – may now prove to be a rare moment in the band’s trajectory. Especially given the trio’s subsequent hiatus and reluctance to tour this, their third album. When live music revenues eclipse streaming and record sales, it’s an honourable and admirable decision.
Back they are, with leading single, Be On Your Way, getting plenty of airplay right now. The song feels like it may have been a demo from when the band agreed to down tools in 2018.
With drummer Remi Aguiella having relocated to the States, guitarist Igor Haefeli in Bristol, and lead singer Elena Tonra releasing her own solo work as Ex:Re, the distance between the London trio now seems to be at the heart of this latest offering.
Connected, but apart, the band worked on ideas across the miles – an approach not unheard of both during and after the pandemic. Distance features throughout, explicitly so on final track, Wish I Could Cross the Sea. It’s there again on Dandelion, with its “I’d prefer us to be close” line.
On Junkmail, Tonra’s broken line, “when did we even stop/swimming”, is just one of many nautical images conjured up throughout the album (most overtly on the pounding Swim Back).
There’s plenty of room in the album for new fans of Daughter too; the delicate Isolation and lo-fi To Rage both contrast with the band’s familiar deeper, drum-filled pieces.
It’s an album that asks questions – the biggest being perhaps, will we ever hear it live?