Radar Band Of The Week No:103 – Daughter


They may have just mastered their new single at Abbey Road Studios, but Daughter hold no great affection for The Beatles. They’ve got nothing against the Fab Four, they say, it’s just that they feel more affinity with their new labelmates, St Vincent and Bon Iver. This isn’t too surprising. Freshly signed to 4AD and with previous links to the Mumfords’ Communion label, the band have always seemed destined to find a home in one of the darker corners of the musical stratosphere.

Inside the famous studios, the trio nervously give Radar the exclusive first listen to their new single ‘Smother’, avoiding eye contact as the song’s ribcage opens and bares its bruised heart in dramatic fashion. It concludes, fittingly, with singer Elena Tonra wishing she’d never even been born. Behind us, an Ed Sheeran gold disc hangs on the wall redundantly. Thankfully Elena is far cheerier in person than her musical persona would suggest, admitting – as if it could ever be denied – to being just slightly dramatic in her songs. “‘Smother’ is more about a breakdown than a break-up, and me looking at myself in quite a negative manner. Maybe there are things I shouldn’t say,” she reveals, squirming slightly. “She’s not afraid to say things other people might be,” clarifies guitarist (and boyfriend) Igor Haefeli.


Igor co-produced ‘Smother’ with Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Adele), and the band – backed by drummer Remi Aguilella – are currently putting the finishing touches to their as-yet-untitled debut album with a view to releasing it in January. “The engineers here must absolutely hate us,” Remi laughs. “We’re very genuine and we get attached to the songs. We don’t want to be like some bands who just go in and record then leave the final thing to a producer.”

There is some respite from the sessions though, like next month’s tour with Beirut – the first proper jaunt the band will have undertaken since inking their deal. Igor says he’s “anxious” about it, while Elena is shocked at how big the venues they’ll be playing actually are. “I think people have been telling me smaller numbers to keep me calm,” she says wryly. You get the feeling those around Daughter had better get used to fibbing to their most honest of friends.

David Renshaw

Need To Know
For Fans Of: Laura Marling, Perfume Genius
Based: London
See Them Live: Daughter will be supporting Beirut on tour in September as well as appearing at Green Man (17-19 Aug) and Bestival (6-9 Sept)
Buy It Now: The band’s previous EPs are available via iTunes
Believe It Or Not: The band are obsessed with Danish TV series The Killing, having discovered it on a recent trip to Denmark