She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.

− Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

Members of Daughter performing for an online concert; Source:

If I were to compare anyone with this quote, I would obviously pick Daughter. Those who’ve already listened to their music would know, why. But if you haven’t, I’m talking about the British indie-folk band Daughter. The Daughter started as frontperson Elena Tonra’s solo project who is from North London. Later she met Swiss guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella from France and formed the trio which became famous overnight in London.

Getting recognized internationally by fans and followers they started touring all over the world. “We met in a music school in London. Elena and I applied for the same course and we started doing music together. We recorded our first EP in my bedroom” said Igor, the guitarist of Daughter.

The band released their debut album If You Leave in March 2013 which was number 16 on the UK music chart. An album that travels through the alleys of the human soul. The sound of the album fusions between folk and dreamy shoegaze. Their second album Not to Disappear was released on January 15, 2016.

Daughter Portraits sadness in a poetic way which can make you fall in love with grief. The most powerful part of Daughter’s music is Tonra’s lyrics which are full of striking images that echo and intensify the detail and drama through music. Their music is expansive and spangly, like staring down a deep well to glimpse a ripple of light on water.

Their track Youth, from the album If You Leave has been a massive hit since it was released. It was featured in various TV shows including the 2014 movie A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul. Elena Tonra explained the background of the song, “I went through phases of sadness and kept to myself a lot. My parents are amazing and so is my family — I’m really lucky. For me, going through youth is positive, but there’s a sadness and a smokiness to it.”

“I’m sorry if I smothered you, sometimes I wish I’d stayed inside my mother never to come out,” she sings on Smother another track of the album If You Leave.

It reflects her lyrical abilities within this section are stripped back and straight to the point. She talks about how she wishes she was never born, how this life is just not worth living anymore.

Frontperson Elena Tonra has also been successful in her solo career. She started her solo career with the stage name Ex:re. Her first self-titled album was released on 1st February 2019. Cutting and haunting lyrics are layered over cathartic steady beats; vulnerability expressed within the security of comforting musical composition. An album that one can listen to on an endless loop. She created a dreamy atmosphere throughout the album.

If you feel mistreated torn and cheated, you are not alone cause Daughter has millions of listeners. So, tune in but never tell your psychiatrist about your Daughter.

Author: Asif Hossain
Student, Department of Business Administration,
Bangladesh Islami University.
Featured Image:
This write-up tells about the London-based indie-folk trio (band), Daughter. References are hyperlinked into the article.
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  1. wow! Their songs are really great.

    I didn’t know this band before but after reading this I’ve listened some of the songs. I really like this band, now


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