State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

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.