Elena Tonra of Daughter. Photo: Facebook.com/ohdaughter
I heard about Daughter from my friend Nadia, who's a talented singer/songwriter herself, so I knew I could trust they'd be good. My decision to check them out at SX was reaffirmed when I heard them on All Songs Considered. I'm not usually into that folky sentimental sound, but hearing a clip of Elena Tonra's beautiful voice on "Landfill" sealed the deal.
The trio is based out of London, which I didn't realize at first, 'cause I swear that all U.K. accents get dropped while singing. I should explain that I originally received most of this information from a big Daughter fan I met at the show. He approached me because he saw my Thursday dove tattoo, which he also had, and it turns out we both got ours as our first tattoo, around the same time, for pretty much the same reasons, except he's from Manchester, England. We agreed it was pretty cool we'd had such a similar experience half a world away. Anyway, he told me that he'd seen Daughter play quite a bit in the U.K.—she's gaining a following out there, and judging by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd at the SX show, she's won the hearts of Americans as well.
Tonra's voice is incredibly soft and sweet for how assertive and clear her vocals rang out over the drums and guitar. There's this passive aggressive attitude about her lyrics, too, which I love. I mean, not everyone can sing, "'Cause this is torturous electricity between both of us, and this is dangerous, 'cause I want you so much, but I hate your guts, I hate you," (chorus for "Landfill") without metal riffs in the background and make it sound believable.
This girl is fucking talented, but she was so grateful to be playing for the crowd––the whole band was. Tonra kept smiling sheepishly every time we'd cheer, in this totally humble and adorable way, and the guitarist (who played his guitar with a bow at one point!) just kept stammering "Thank you, we're so happy to be here," over and over.
These guys are definitely ones to look out for. Hopefully we'll have the pleasure of hosting them for a full tour soon.