State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - karanjits

Hipster Artist of The Week : Daughter


Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilell; killing you softly with their songs.

Everyone must experience the wonders of the shuffle button on the iTunes. My iTunes has a collection of 32 days of music; needless to say it’s filled with a lot of crap I barely listen to. But the other day, while I was half passed out in my college dorm room on a Friday night (with no idea where my keys were or how did I miraculously end up in my room in one piece), my iTunes’ shuffle made my evening. My room filled up with the acoustic ballads of Daughter’s Wild Youth EP, and I was left guilty for not initially appreciating the gem that is the amazingly beautiful, U.K. based band Daughter.

Now before you go out and Google them, just know that there is apparently another U.K. based band with the same name – who make some really “intense – not – worthy – of – your – time – metal” music. Daughter on the other hand call themselves an experimental, acoustic folk outfit. That is evident in their minimalist use of drums and dramatic ballad like vocals adorned with beautiful guitar melodies. Daughter started off back in 2011 with their first EP, titled His Young Heart, containing only 4 tracks; quite different from the standard number.

“Candles” is probably one of the most hauntingly melancholic tracks I’ve ever heard, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. In fact, its one of those songs that you’d play after a tiresome day of school. When you first listen to Daughter, you will immediately fall in love with vocalist Elena’s singing. I’ve spent the past 4 hours watching YouTube videos of her playing live, and boy I must say I’ve fallen for her head over heels. Candles is probably one of their best songs; the rising crescendos, the brush-sticks percussion, the long lasting echoing vibe of the guitar create a very calm, atmospheric, moody environment that is blissful and inescapable.

Their Second EP, titled Wild Youth, was what shot them to fame with “Youth”. I could go in depth about the song, but I wouldn’t even come close to effectively describing to the musical genius of Daughter. Considering that Elena was only 21 years old when she wrote this, I have to tip my hat to her songwriting:

“And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones.
‘Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.
Setting fire to our insides for fun
Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong”

Wild Youth carries recurring emotional and dark themes layered with subtle beauty. Again, Elena’s fragile vocals echo and pierce through the toughest of hearts and reignite those long forgotten feelings and memories. Every time I give it a listen, I can almost feel something in my chest hitting me with a pang of sorrow and melancholy; And this is why Daughter in my opinion is a great band. Their music is not just meant to please the ears but the body. This kind of music, music that does more than just play – music that touches the darkest corners of you – is the music worth listening to.

Hipster Artist of the Week : Chet Faker.

Sex, Beats, Sugar, Soul, Magic.

The best music I discover usually is found while I am busy procrastinating, even when I have a loads of work left to do. So it’s late at night; 3 assignments due tomorrow and here I am relentlessly trying to keep my hands off the computer screen, trying my best to not be tempted by the forbidden fruit of the internet. But hey, I am human, and so my fingers reach for the mouse. I was clicking link after link trying to find a good song that would fit the mood of the night, promising myself “after this, I will study”. Have you ever had those moments when Youtube takes you to a completely different world of music you never thought existed? I first clicked Chet Faker’s link admiring his beard style; but once I heard the music, I was hooked.

Nick Murphy started making music at the age of 15 in his Melbourne garage at home. Deeply rooted to the Melbourne Acoustic and Techno House scene, he looked to find an amalgamation between the two. His love for soul and his passion for electronic music led him to his debut EP Thinking in Textures in 2012. From the shadows of the great Jazz/Soul legend Chet Baker; a new artist arose. Adopting the name of Chet Faker, he created what I would call a mix of Post Dub/Post House/Minimalist/Electronic/New Soul; but even terming it as anyone of those would still seem wrong. It’s almost as if he touches every musical genre in its slightest to create a genre of his own.

If I had to describe his music in one word, I’d say it was “eargasmic”. His single, I’m Into You from his debut is one of those songs you will put on repeat till you grow sick of it. The use of minimalist, almost mute drums and the synthesized keyboard sounds, ornamented with atmospheric vocals make the song the “drunk soul” that it is.

His other single, Love and Feeling is what one of my friends call “the perfect music for making love”. I don’t blame him, the song does carry with it that sexual atmosphere, with great samples and soul sounds on the guitar and the keyboard. Murphy himself calls his music as the “crossover between sex and sleep”.

However, what wins the most are his vocals: casual, drunk, sleepy, soul-ish, piercing through the electronic environment to create an world of his own. If you are looking for better ways to spend your half awaken nights or your drunk Friday evenings; I suggest you plug in the speaker, turn on the bass, dim the lights and lose yourself in his music. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

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