Laura Green ’18
Daughter is the kind of band that drinks tea onstage. Elena Tonra, a small-framed woman with strong black bangs, sipped on her paper cup of tea throughout the set at Pearl Street Ballroom. As if she weren’t cute enough, whenever there was a particularly enthusiastic round of applause, she said, “Oh wow, thank you so much!” in her adorable British accent.
Thursday, Nov. 3 was Daughter’s first time in Northampton and they spent it in the most Northampton way they could: with smoothies. This preparation obviously served them well, as the band put on a fantastic show. It was beautiful, fun and true to their spirit as a band that truly enjoys what they do.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic opened the show the right way. The Australian-based band was impressively dressed in all black, down to their shoelaces. Tim Bettinson, the lead singer, brainchild and ringleader of the group, said that Daughter was his first concert at age 15. Bettinson’s awe at opening for Daughter was apparent, imbuing his music with passion. The dreamy, atmospheric tunes served as the perfect complement to Daughter, without feeling repetitive.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s 2014 EP “Winter” features “Vapour,” an encapsulation of the band’s sound. It sounds like Bon Iver’s “For Emma, Forever Ago,” an admitted favorite of Bettindon’s, who has a high-pitched voice and introspective lyrics. It is the perfect antidote for chilly November nights.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic is preparing to release its first full-length album. A teaser track, “Someone to Stay,” was released last week and points to another exquisite set of songs. Bettinson is young and I’m sure he has much more ethereal folk R&B to offer the music scene.
Almost a year ago, Daughter released a much-anticipated second album, “Not to Disappear,” three years after “If You Leave.” The cosmopolitan group, made up of a North Londoner, a Swiss and a Frenchman, closed their encore with “Fossa,” a clean track from the most recent album that lets Tonra’s voice shine. The band used the standard set of instruments inventively. Igor Haefeli, the guitarist, used a bow to play the guitar on several songs, including “Lifeforms” from “If You Leave.” The band soars when it strips down its sound and lets the each instrument fulfill its potential.
Like Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Daughter creates atmospheric and introspective folk rock, but Tonra’s well-places pregnant pauses and angelic voice that can be harsh when needed. Daughter is the master of build up, starting out sad and turning bitterly powerful.
Daughter is still a relatively small band, but its fans are dedicated. One fan passed Tonra a handwritten note, while another made a sparkly jacket with Tonra’s face printed on the back. Tonra is clearly grateful for her fans, seeming touched as she pulled on the jacket with her own face on it. As Tonra devolved into giggles during the last song of the encore, it was clear to me that this is a group of friends who are really good at what they do. They just produce good music. Daughter is a band that moves at its own pace, not rushed to put out the next work or skyrocket to fame. They simply love their jobs.