After the success of last year’s If You Leave, and following a recent run of shows supporting indie darlings The National on their US tour, Daughter release a five track EP which sees them reworking select songs from their debut album with a ten-piece orchestra led by Joe Duddell, who also conducted the Halle Orchestra for Elbow a few years previous. This collaboration stemmed from Daughter’s Festival No.6 set from 2013, whereby they were accompanied by the same Ensemble for a special set, delivered to sixty very lucky individuals, and after being approached by record label 4AD to repeat the collaboration for the purpose of being recorded, the band (and orchestra) agreed immediately.
The atmospheric nature of Daughter’s music lends itself beautifully to the weight and gravitas an orchestra can bring, and both band and orchestra intertwine musically to create a piece of work which appeals not only to those veracious Daughter fans, but also to a new audience of those who simply appreciate good music for what it is. Unlike on If You Leave the five tracks here are given light, and there is hope to be found in the way Duddell has arranged the instruments to create a sense of breathing space-Elena’s vocals are given a chance to shine and act as a separate instrument themselves-and there is never a sense of overcrowding. The highlight of this reworked set is fan-favourite, ‘Youth’, which builds and sways with the rising tide of the orchestra; maudlin strings accompanying the all-hope-is-lost lyrics of unrequited love. For lines such as: ‘I’m just a silhouette/A lifeless face you’ll soon forget’, strings seem the perfect accompaniment.
4AD Session is released on 12” vinyl in May, so for now we have to content ourselves with the digital release this coming week. For fans of the band, it is a definite purpose and a worthwhile addition to your collection. For those who may not be au fait with Daughter, this is as good as any place to begin; a great place to begin a love affair with a band who seem destined for great things.
Words: Joe Sweeting