To a long list of bands with dreamy, shoegazing tendencies on the indie record label 4AD we can add Daughter, a multicultural trio based in London who are the latest to take the sound into big venues. The xx have proved that understated songs can sell impressively and win awards. Guitarist Igor Haefeli, singer Elena Tonra and drummer Remi Aguilella don’t make foregrounded music, but have grabbed wider attention for their song Doing the Right Thing, which tackles issues of dementia. They asked for donations to an Alzheimer’s charity at the door this evening.
The song is affecting thanks to soft-voiced Tonra’s striking lyrics, most of which were unfortunately indecipherable compared to the relative polish of the band’s two albums. With plucked guitar hushed down during Youth, it was possible to hear her peerlessly pessimistic take on young love: “Most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs, setting fire to our insides for fun”.
Their muffled drums, layers of guitar, with extra depth from a touring fourth member, and Tonra’s hushed swoon, were pretty while rarely standing tall enough to demand total attention. Fossa, with its eventual doubling of pace, showed that they can do power as well as atmosphere. Daughter aren’t breaking new ground, they’re part of a long line of languid mopers – a style that, done this well, continues to entrance.