London-based trio Daughter are on a sold-out UK and European tour and are about to unleash their debut LP ‘If You Leave’ in March. Wonderland caught up with frontwoman Elena to talk tour goss, tears and their beautifully brooding avant-garde take on acoustic folk.
Congratulations on the sold-out tour! How are the shows going to differ from the festivals that you’ve played?
We’re playing at lots of churches and we really enjoy it, I think it’s our thing. The atmosphere is always slightly gloomy in a good way. We’re so overwhelmed at the reaction that the tour has had. It’s pretty mindblowing. I was quite worried about it but it’s going be great – even though I’m going be so so nervous.
How did you meet your bandmates Remi and Igor?
I was in the same class at college as Igor and Remi was studying drums. I was doing solo stuff before I met the boys and I felt almost restricted in my musical ability. I asked Igor to help me out for a few of my solo shows and when we jammed together we came up with all of these ideas. After the first EP, Remi came on-board and that’s how Daughter were born.
Do you write the songs as a collective unit, or individually?
I do all of the lyrics and if I’m honest I haven’t ever tried writing with anyone else. Some of the lyrics i’ve written I never thought that anyone else would hear them.
Do you feel exposed when you’re singing such personal lyrics aloud?
Yes, definitely. It’s my therapy, almost. A lot of the songs sound like love songs and some of them obviously are based on relationships. I never really divulge what the lyrics are about, I like to let people interpret them. I’ve had a couple of shows where I’ve burst into tears onstage but that hasn’t happened a lot.
What are your biggest inspirations when writing and what has shaped your sound as a band
Sound-wise we’ve all been brought up on different music, our sound is essentially all of our three different sounds mashed together. My dad was into Bob Dylan and Neil Young and mum was into David Bowie, so I was given a pretty good start. Igor is more experimental than me and loves electro. Remi was brought up on jazz. Our upbringing’s were very varied.
So would you say you’ve found your niche now? Or are you still experimenting?
We’re definitely still experimenting. I really admire artists that adapt to different things. I like how Radiohead always switch gears and I’m interested in merging acoustic stuff with electronic. We haven’t quite delved as deep as we could have but the album is what it is, I have no regrets.
Any favourite songs on the record?
Since it’s been completed I haven’t listened back to it very much. We have one song, ‘Youth’, that will feature on the album and some old songs that we have reworked from their demo state. I’m quite the perfectionist but there are definitely some songs on there that I’m proud of. But I’m going to keep them close to my chest for now.
Barring the album and tour, what’s in store for Daughter in 2013?
We’re going back to the US to release the album in April. We’re also lining up summer festivals and have already been confirmed for Field Day and End Of The Road. I’m hoping we can play Glastonbury as I’ve never been, so that would be amazing. I just really want to get out there and play live this year.
Daughter play a sold-out gig at Hackney Empire tonight. Check their Facebook for more details of their European and American tour. facebook.com/ohdaughter
Words: Shane Hawkins