If You Leave
Songs on If You Leave, the debut album from UK trio Daughter, are the musical equivalent of tearing down a personal fortress. It is an album about unclenching fearful fists.
Singer Elena Tonra's haunting voice is an iron anchor slowly rising from the depths of the sea, eventually turning tracks like "Still"—a song about a destructive relationship—into a release of emotion and the realization of freedom. Paired with the echo of guitar that starts out painfully dark and then floats away, the musical construction of each song further depicts breaking from hurtful memories.
The album reaches the pinnacle (depth?) of sadness with the final track, "Shallows." On it, Tonra's lyrics—about lying on her back watching stars collide—wallow in burdensome anxiety about losing love. Considered against delicate guitar and palpitating drums, the song's fear has an odd blissful atmosphere.
If You Leave is folk music dipped in shoegaze, wrapped in the struggle between darkness and light. It goes straight for the gut and is not an album for people uncomfortable with melancholy. And perhaps better saved for autumn, after the sunny days of summer.