Top 5: Daughter

Year-End Top 5

If You Leave

Street: 03.13
Daughter = Rhye + St. Vincent

It’s hard to put into words the emotions that Daughter’s full-length debut, If You Leave, bring up. Each time I turn it on, it’s as if Elena Tonra’s voice is reaching deep into my soul and shaking up all of those miserable, broken-hearted experiences, and then serving them back to me in a beautifully decorated, melancholy cocktail. The album starts with “Winter” and Tonra telling of a loss: “Drifting apart like two sheets of ice/Frozen hearts growing colder with time.” Tonra’s lyrics—paired with the sounds of her and Igor Haefeli’s guitars and Remi Aguilella’s steady but strong percussion—hypnotize me every time. In “Smother,” Tonra admits, “I’m a suffocator/Sometimes I wish I’d stayed inside my mother/Never to come out.” Each time I hear those words, I swallow the handful of emotions that are welling up behind my eyes. The first song I heard from this album was “Tomorrow,” a painstakingly cathartic track that shatters my heart with a hammer. As Tonra sings, “Don’t bring tomorrow/’Cause I already know I’ll lose you,” I feel my heart breaking all over again—not for myself, but for her. The ache in her gentle voice, mixed with the ever-growing power of the music, wraps itself around me, and there are times when I feel as if I might drown in the sorrow that is floating through the speakers. Listening to If You Leave is a terrifyingly beautiful experience: There are moments of pure understanding and others full of heartache. This is an album to listen to when you want to feel something—anything at all. Like Tonra says in “Touch”: “I’m dreaming of strangers kissing me in the night/Just so I can feel something.” –Karamea Pearl Puriri