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4.6 out of 5 stars89
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 September 2013
The great 4AD records have stumbled upon yet another winning act building on traditions from Dead Can Dance through to Blonde Redhead (the latter being the most underrated act in the planet). Is there a genius in the company chair there? The album seems like one long hypnotic 45 minute number about love & love lost & so little point to describe each track but I'd like to try :o). Opens with 'Winter' which sets the weather for both beauty & desolation. Then 'Smother' and hey they were brave enough to release this as a 7" single. Sounding like XX (or is it XX sounding like Daughter) as Elena Tonra pours her heart out "I want him but we are not right" deep brilliant lyrics & quite spellbinding "all my children can become me" "what a mess I leave to follow" and builds into a climax ;o) 'Youth' could be the best here "'cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs" "the lovers that went wrong" with emotion in overload "and you caused it" plus great the way the drums burst into life with powerful beat flourishes. 'Still' is another dramatic ethereal piece...this is not dance music but music that needs to be listened to. 'Lifeforms' spurred on by the guitar arpeggios & haunting vocals is another emotional tour de force "or find the children lost at sea" "you'll always find another womb to grow". Sublime. 'Tomorrow' more desolation via some heavier guitar "don't bring tomorrow because I already know I'll lose you". 'Human' is the most upbeat, energetic & danceable and adds a nice change. 'Touch' with each listen new shades appear - amazing & grabs you & pulls you in "can feel something". 'Amsterdam' is totally mesmerizing. Finally track 'Shallows' is where the title comes from "if you leave, when I go, you'll find me in the shallows" as it slowly builds into a climax with the drums ricocheting, reverb guitars & vocals all seemingly at different rhythms, but it all falls together perfectly & is more emotional overload. Elena's voice really seems as if she's living the agony (understated, honest, humble & pure). The slight fault is that it is not a particularly fun & uplifting ride but nevertheless somehow meshes into a beautiful soundscape which you can place onto repeat as each listen reveals more magic. Yes this album is sublime & the album of 2013.
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on 19 March 2013
I've been looking forward to this album since the beginning of the year after discovering their previous eps (His Young Heart, and The Wild Youth), as well as the beautiful Smother/Run single which really began to showcase the band's now fuller, more dramatic sound. "If You Leave" certainly doesn't disappoint.
The ten songs here sit so well together it's hard to imagine them presented any other way. The song sequencing, the packaging, and that sound - a beguiling hybrid of Sigur Ros and early Suzanne Vega with a good sprinkling of Cocteau Twins 4AD-ish-ness - all serve to enhance Ellen Tonra's deeply intimate tales of love's ambiguity. And let's not forget her voice! Sultry, vulnerable, sexy, and never 'over-egged'. Perfectly judged with just enough expression to make the songs live. The emotional content of the music comes largely from Igor Haefeli's widescreen guitar motifs whether strummed, picked, or bowed, and percussionist Remi Aguilella's short-lived but powerful drum swells. "Smother" is a good example of this post-post-rock stance - three quarters of the song hang in a sublime suspension of build or fall with just a few bars of intensity at full band volume. Infact the only track here that doesn't make use of quiet/loud dynamics is "Human" which is almost 'pop', atleast by Daughter's standards.
"If You Leave" will take a few listens to get right under your skin, but once it does it's like an addiction. This is a compelling and highly accomplished debut from a band I now desperately want to see onstage.
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on 19 March 2013
The first two EP's are excellent, so I eagerly awaited the full length debut, for what seemed like an age. It lived up to all I was hoping for. Brilliant, charming, compelling, ethereal, mellow, wonderfully produced and performed. I absolutely recommend If You Leave, and I'm looking forward to hearing it live next month in Birmingham.
Daughter are getting a bit of love from all around (BBC, music press etc), so next big thing? It seems so and utterly utterly deserved. Buy it!
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on 1 August 2013
I am too old for this. Definitely. I first stumbled across Daughter via the two EPs and was instantly smitten. This led to me driving through the snow in January to see them in the intimate surroundings of St Peter's Church Salford where they quite simply blew me away. To say I have been looking forward to this album would be an understatement and at the tender age of 45 that is unsual. Initially I was upset that a couple of my favourites were not deemed album worthy - Candles and Landfill - but then at the same time happy that they confounded this expectation. I grew up on The Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil and this puts me in mind of both but again not exactly. The musicianship is superb, the voice haunting, the subjects unviersal. Some may yell 'depressing' but they are wrong. This is just pure, wonderful music. Enraptured.
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on 24 March 2013
I first heard Daughter's track Youth on BBC 6 Music, it was an instant like for me. If you like Florence and The XX then this album will certainly not disappoint you. I believe some production has been done by one member of the XX. Its very chilled with great acoustic guitars. 5 stars from me, spot on!
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on 30 August 2013
Came to this incredibly atmospheric band through watching their Glastonbury and Latitude 2013 festival performances online. They were the 'finds' of these festivals, as far as I'm concerned. The live performances have a slightly more electric and rockier edge than is apparent on this album.

As other reviews have pointed out, 'haunting' and 'mesmerising' are the right adjectives for this music. Very original sound, driven by Elena Tonra's low-key but spine-tingling voice, and by guitars heavy on reverb and languid effects creating a sense of desolation and massive space. Other reviewers have pointed out comparators, such as The Xx - BBC Glastonbury website suggested The Savages but, apart from effect-laden guitar, few comparisons could be more inaccurate - yet nobody else is really close to exploring this combination of lyrical and musical territory. With the only partial exception of a couple of more obviously commercial tracks ('Human' and 'Youth'), the album meshes into one expanse of sound, and there's little point in trying to single out individual tracks. Backward tape effects create a rhythm that drags the music into the opening track 'Winter' with its mournful 'chorus' and the experience continues from there. If you're not fully taken on first listen (which you may well be), give it a chance to grow on you with a few listens, so that you can explore everything that's going on beneath the surface. Love and loss are the themes: Elena Tonra clearly has quite a bitter and cynical take on relationships, but few can transform that into lyrics and feelings as capably.

This is a stunning debut, which shows quite a bit of development from some of the earlier material and performances that can still be found on Youtube. This band are certainly going places. I suspect that by the end of 2013 this will still be my album - and band - of the year. The only reason I've given four stars is to leave some leeway for the band to develop from here, and I very much doubt they'll disappoint.
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on 24 September 2013
Now a days it is quite difficult to find an spectacular album that fills your expectations.

After listening one of the first hits from Daughter, "Youth, I decided to buy the album because I though the sound that this band creates quite appealed my taste. Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed after the second hearing because it looks to me like a continuous atmospheric cool sound that it did not end to satisfy me.

Lyrics are nice but it did not definitely touch my soul.
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on 13 July 2014
An absorbing album that gets deeper on each listening.

Echoes of other great acts like Florence, Goldfrapp and London Grammar, maybe a bit of Enya ... maybe many other masters of the subtle.

Highly recommended if you want a 10 track late evening journey to chill-out.
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on 25 October 2013
I gave it 5 stars because its one of the best albums i have listened too. The music is beautiful. Her voice is lovely The lyrics have so much meaning.I would say that everyone has to listen to this album since i usually don't listen to this music but as soon as i heard youth i had to get the whole album. It won't be a waste of your time or money and it will be a album your probably listen to a lot.
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on 6 November 2013
Well I love this album, its enchanting and haunting, would say similar to bat for lashes style of music, but dare I say it probably better, loving all the tracks they link together so well, about love and loss, really like, smother, youth, still, in fact I like them all really is that good!! Go and buy it, had a week and hasn't left my cd player I am hooked
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