Indie-folk trio take a slightly different route from the fraught tones of their first album on their eagerly awaited return
Three years ago, Daughter arrived as one of the bleaker exponents of indie-folk with their much anticipated debut album If You Leave. Returning with their second album Not To Disappear, the expectation is even greater this time around for the trio.
An artist’s second offering often falls into two camps: more of the same or a move away from what came before. Opener New Ways suggests that the trio have opted for the latter approach, tweaking the grandiosity of their earlier work and adopting a thicker sound. This is heightened further by the slightly rockier tone at play, with single Doing The Right Thing and To Belong more muted alt-rock than indie-folk and No Care adopting a quicker tempo than listeners have been used to. Elsewhere the shift in their sound can be felt in Mothers, which nods to Brooklyn indie-rockers The Antlers.
Despite the obvious development in their sound, Daughter have by no means turned their back on the qualities that acquired such a fanfare in the first place. Their songwriting is still graceful, poignant and ambient, as can be heard in the crushing closer Made Of Stone – it just feels a little less fraught this time round.
Whether the removal of the journey into their heart of darkness dulls their effect is another question. The answer is to ask yourself what you were expecting from Daughter on album number two. If it was to continue tumbling alone down a well, then this won’t be quite what you wished for. If, though, your hope was for a band looking upwards and onwards, then Not To Disappear will be the confirmation that Daughter are here for the long haul.
Verdict: A well-adjusted second album