Question: just how do you go about trying to match an album as peerless, wholly immersive, and as widely acclaimed and adored as Daughter’s 2013 debut ‘If You Leave?’ Simple: up the ante on every level. Building on that record’s gloriously dark intensity, wracked emotion and come-hither diaphanous textures, ‘Not To Disappear,’ the new full-length release from the London-based trio — singer/guitarist Elena Tonra, guitarist/producer Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella — is a mighty declaration of intent. Profoundly ruminative and lugubrious, bold and direct, it’s arguably even more assertive and compelling than its much-lauded predecessor.
Produced by Haefeli and Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, The War On Drugs), ‘Not To Disappear’ finds Daughter evolving in interesting ways. Recorded in New York, at Vernhes’ studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, there are the usual intricate dynamics at play — Tonra’s gauzy, fragile voice, delivering powerful, anguished words detailing her inner turmoil, fusing seamlessly with Haefeli’s tight, melodic guitar sounds and Aguilella’s rolling drums — but the sound, oozing with depth and resonance, feels infinitely richer. It’s properly intoxicating stuff: “Numbers” soars and swoops through exhilarating crescendos, as Tonra recites the song’s mantra — “I feel numb/I feel numb in this kingdom” — over and over; and “Fossa,” like some majestic convergence of Radiohead and Sigur Rós, is possibly one of Daughter’s most euphoric moments yet.