Gig Reviews

Daughter – Enmore Theatre, Sydney 10/04/16

For their Sunday night set at the Enmore Theatre, Daughter played a mix of songs from their acclaimed first album, If I Leave, along with the standout tracks from their new record, Not To Disappear, which they’re currently touring with.

The London trio – joined tonight by a fourth member, keyboardist and guitarist Lucy who seems to have become a recent fixture for live shows – kicked off with melancholic-but-rocky How from the new album and the sound established itself as well-balanced and solid, providing a strong palette for Elena Tonra’s signature smoky voice.

It was back to the first record right away with a moving Shallows. Nicely paced, the sound wasn’t up to it as much as before with the the heavy guitars obscuring Tonra’s vocals at times.

The band settled back into more recent material after that, treating us to an electronics-heavy Numbers and Alone / With You, both of which proved to be sure-fire hits with the chill Sunday crowd. The heavier direction is definitely working for Daughter and having a fourth member in Lucy has presented the possibility of more rich harmonisation in the live vocals.

Tonra’s shyness is as charming as ever. When after a few songs in she whispered “thank you so so much for filling this room” she was a fragile deer in headlights but she nonetheless had the crowd in the palm of her hand.

Old favourites like the enduringly popular Amsterdam and Human made it into the set and demonstrated just how Daughter’s 2013 material works with the new sound. Other highlights in the set included 2013’s Tomorrow and Winter, the euphoric breakdown of which had the crowd swaying and whooping appreciatively.

The real standout moment of the night was when the audience joined Tonra in a powerful singalong of Youth, affirming the longevity of her indie folk writing.

Tracks from the new album that were particularly well received included Doing The Right Thing, the more dancy No Care and New Ways, which garnered whoops from the crowd and featured gorgeous harmonies from the backing vocals.

Fossa, which was treated with an extended guitar improv at the end, was the final track on the set list and made for a chilled but high atmosphere to end on. The crowd shrieked for an encore and Daughter delivered.

Rather than keeping up the momentum though, they opted for a more soulful parting gift: the sparse Made of Stone ended the evening on a sombre note, several members of the crowd swaying with their phone lights held up as torches in solidarity with Tonra’s wistful lyrics.

Daughter will always be the definition of understated, but that doesn’t effect of the showmanship of the band one bit. There is a charisma in Tonra’s stillness and Igor Haefeli’s style of guitar playing compliments her perfectly. Theirs is a refreshingly genuine brand of indie folk and one that you can’t help but be fully invested in.

Daughter was supported by Melbourne artist Fractures whose brand of mellow shoegaze set the stage perfectly for the headline act.

Photos by Ashley Mar

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