Spending most of my life in the contemporary dance world, the UK band Daughter is no foreign name to me. They stopped in Austin at the Mohawk on March 28th for a night of indie-folk trance music.
The band focused their set on new tracks from their recent album, “Not to Disappear,” which was released back in January. They also played some of their more well-known classics, such as “Youth,” to the delight of an adoring audience.
They opened the show with throwback “Amsterdam” and the crowd cheered as lead singer Elena Tonra shyly approached her mic. Her vocals immediately created a blanket of peace over the entire crowd. Any trepidation you may have faced over the day could be released into the universe with the help of her soothing voice and minimalist guitar chords. Next, they performed a well-known bop piece (I say “bop” to describe songs that make me bop my head) “Human,” it elicited the feeling of shopping at American Apparel.
Tonra has a strong fan base, and it showed through the shouts of admiration and praise between songs. “WE LOVE YOU ELENA!!” they cheered. Guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella also received many shouts of praise.
Next, the band transitioned into the album “Not to Disappear.” Performing “Doing the right thing” took the audience to an almost ethereal place, but with an anchor of darkness. It was definitely one of my favorite performances of the night. They transitioned into “Shallows,” which they performed with a different sound than the recorded version on the album. This was also a stellar performance, drummer Aguilella really shined in the song. By the end of the piece, I was ready to drown with Elena. The drums had the power to transport you to the spot under the willow tree where the song was probably written.
By this point, Elena comments that they will attempt to make the mood a bit less depressing. She has this coy charm about her that makes her irresistible. She comes across as humble and passionate, and her vocals draw you into her seductive trap.
The band then threw it back to an old EP track, “Home.” It was mildly depressing, but I at least felt like I was depressed in an Armani commercial on the beach. It morphed into a real jam, beyond the point of bopping, with some solid vocals to take it to the top. It was apparent that the band enjoyed playing this piece, and that it held memories and significance to them.
They took us back to the trance with “Winter.” I particularly enjoyed the lyrics to this one and it made my bones ache with anxiety. It was definitely the crowd favorite up to this point and the first piece they played with a 95 percent distinct and unique sound.
The night went fast through some very SXSW-appealing and Florence the Machine-esque sounds, flowers given to our queen Elena, and many underage girls trying to take cool snapchats that made them seem like they were out without parental supervision.
They closed the show with “Fossa,” an intimate experience. Elena’s eyes were on fire and her convictions were clear. The other band members held her down well. Yes, there was an encore and it milked every last drop of solitude and crimson hope that the crowd was able to manage.
Overall, the night was a great way to end a Monday. The audience was respectful and honest, donning sophisticated hipster getups. Daughter managed to create a sweet dejection with their sound that will leave you craving more. Thank you for gracing Austin with your presence, Daughter!
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