This morning’s generous tweet was provided by Lauren Laverne who tweeted eagerly about Daughter and her stirring songs. Spending the earlier parts of the year writing her EP with her boyfriend, Elena Tonra has now released His Young Heart EP, a set of four eerie tracks you’re bound to be hearing of soon, if you haven’t already.
Landfill sets the mood of the set quite sufficiently with subtly but rolling gentle drums and intricate but calm acoustic guitar lines. Tonra has a hauntingly airful voice whose frequencies come together as fine sharp lines of crystal glass. Lines like “Throw me in the water/ don’t think about the splash I will create/ Leave me at the alter/ Knowing all the things you just escaped”, generate a stark, uncomfortable and sombre atmosphere that is supported by ethereal, whirling backing vocals.
The guitars here remind me of Don’t Panic, by Coldplay, with their shrill drones though the whole thing is far more feminine with a total black and white photo haze. Tonra’s lead vocals become more driven at the chorus before whispering down to a rueful “Coz I want you so much/ But I hate your guts, I hate you”.
The themes throughout are pure gothic fantasy (“So leave me in the cold/ Wait until the snow covers me up”) yet the whole thing feels deliciously fresh and raw.
An ability to adapt and shape vintage themes into something unwilted and unique is again seen in Candles. Tonra creates an eerie scene with “A boy took me away into the night/ Out of the hum of the streetlights and into the forest” before lifting us slightly with the light rhythm of drum brushes – emulating the anxious heartbeat of the girl in the woods. Again here Tonra does not allow you to sit too comfortably for too long. She cleverly plays off lines of visual positivity like “Blow out the candles/ You’re too old to be so shy” against darker shades of “Both wide eyed, like we’re in a crime scene”.
A sense of excitement and suspense prevail throughout. The song builds to an intense repetition of “I’ll never be your lover/ I only bring the heat/ Company under cover/ filling the space in your sheets” before breaking down again into the more hopeful and anticipatory Birthday themed lines of the song, which even then, and now more still, are tinged with failed expectations and dissatisfaction.
These two songs, along with The Woods and Switzerland (which feature fantastically haunting, droning accordions and elegantly witchy xylophones) make up His Young Heart EP. Having seen several videos on YouTube I would most certainly like to watch her performing these majestically introspective songs and hope she plays near me soon. These songs send me straight into myself in a beautifully melancholic, standing by the backdoor watching the rain kind of way. They are elegant and ethereal, both vintage and unique.
Today I listened to: His Young Heart EP by Daughter
Having been listening to Daughter, the outdoors was appealing for a picture today. The garden, especially with the rainy, thundery atmosphere all over it, felt perfectly introspective. The really cute thing is that wherever we go in the garden, Lilly will follow. She was perfectly happy sitting looking at whatever I was looking at through my lens. She is lovely company in a nicely rain-dropped garden.
© Anne Louise Kershaw