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If You Leave

4.6 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Mar. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B00AZM8IIY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,357 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

If You Leave was recorded over a period of months at home and in various spaces across London by Daughter trio Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella. Production was overseen by Igor with additional production from Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Adele) and Jolyon Vaughan Thomas (Maps), and mixed by Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, M83) at High Bank Studio and mastered by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road Studios.

BBC Review

Something about roses and thorns, of surface beauty masking elements more menacing. Search online a little and this is a common tact when addressing the music of London-based trio Daughter.

And with good reason: theirs is a sound instantly enchanting of design. But the somewhat quaint, almost-folk arrangements and Elena Tonra’s vocals – as gorgeously direct and detailed as a Matisse, complete with age-impressed cracks spider-webbing the canvas – sit atop an emotional turbulence that many would restrict to locked-tight diary pages.

Music has long been a method of catharsis, of course. But spend a few hours in the company of If You Leave and the effect is draining.

Not in a negative sense – the repeat plays logged by this writer are testament to this album’s longevity. But expect to feel almost as broken as the protagonist behind these songs’ narratives come set-closer Shallows.

Tonra doesn’t shy away from summoning deep-rooted sermons on the subject of love – most notably the aftermath of its collapse, and subsequent feelings of isolation. It’s all the listener can do to not hunt down the culprit behind her splintered heart and demand answers, such are the singer’s devastatingly succinct illustrations of romantic fallout.

“I’ve lost it all, I’m just a silhouette / I’m a lifeless face that you’ll soon forget,” is one such moment, a snapshot from Youth. Tomorrow further distances the separation by actually articulating it more intimately: “By tomorrow I’ll be left in the darkness / Amongst your cold sheets.” It’s genuinely powerful, moving stuff.

Something more sinister than relationships gone awry stirs elsewhere. “Find the children lost at sea,” Tonra sings on Lifeforms, “Find the children who discreetly / Were killed in infancy.”

Such lines bring to mind Scandinavian mythology, specifically the legend of mylings. They connect Daughter’s music, albeit in an abstract fashion, with the more arcane strands of folk that came before them.

Daughter’s generally gentle arrangements, rarely roused from a whisper to a roar – Winter features some pounding percussion; the layered, choral vocals of Smother are gorgeous – are therefore rather more engaging than many a peer’s offerings.

If You Leave is a damaged debut, then, but the way the hues of its bruises blend into each other is wholly hypnotic. It wants to love, again, but has chosen darkness.

--Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Audio CD
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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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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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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Saw them supporting Sigur Ross and was really impressed. This album does not disappoint and I'm totally blown away by the bowed guitar sounds. Can't wait to hear their next album which is due for release soon.
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