Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: new album

Daughter – Live at Baby’s All Right – 9/30/15 (Pictorial Review, Live Video)


Shortly after Mike Krol’s set finished, I received word that Daughter were playing a secret, unannounced-to-the-public 1 AM set and immediately made sure I found an attendance spot. The band’s been one I’ve held in high esteem and one of their quietest performances has stuck with me ever since my initial exposure to it several years ago. Very shortly into the set, it was made clear why it was kept under wraps: this was a show that the band wanted to make memorable for everyone in attendance- and it was also the show where they announced their forthcoming album, Not To Disappear.

Gracefully moving through a set that relied heavy on material from Youth but still made room for the new material, the band found themselves in fine form and silenced a sold-out room, who all grappled with various stages of awe. No matter what mode the band is in, whether they’re idling at a slow tempo or switching over to hard-hitting, they exude an impossible amount of grace. As the members trade off instruments (or trade endearing witticisms), they never seem anything less than serene.

Occasionally that calmness translates over to their music and creates an arresting, engrossing atmosphere. That intersection was never more evident than it was when the quartet unveiled the live premiere of their new single, “Doing The Right Thing” (which they’ve affectionately shorthanded to “Detroit” for the way the acronym appears on their set lists). Now that the song has a powerful video (one of the year’s finest) as an accompaniment, this memory rings even more fiercely but as the song’s closing lines were drawn out in a whisper, there was a silence so complete that thinking about it now, weeks after the fact, is enough to induce chills.

Everything in their set that had come before that moment and everything that will always have that singular performance as a reference point; it was that strong of a moment. As their set wound to a close, the band proceeded with a characteristic amount of elegance, never striking a false note. As the skies opened up outside and loosed a torrential downpour, their crowd filed out into the late-night storm in states of quiet reverie. In passing, I overheard a hushed “wow” that was immediately met with a silent nod, an exchange that acted as the perfect summation of a genuinely memorable evening.

Watch the band perform the title track from Youth below and explore a photo gallery of the show here.


LVL UP – Soft Power (Stream)

lvl up

LVL UP’s Hoodwink’d is suddenly all just about anyone can talk about. There’s a very simple reason for this, too- and it’s name is “Soft Power”. Following a few outstanding lo-fi releases for the increasingly influential Double Double Whammy label, the song takes all of the band’s best qualities and pushes them to their  absolute limit. From the lilting vocal melody to the shards of gritty lo-fi punk riffs that slice the song wide open, all of their hallmarks are present. What differentiates this from their past work is the way it’s presented. Jangling guitar work’s married with a more confident, drawn-out structure. Explosive sections are no longer brief, they’re played for maximum impact and build momentum instead of abruptly cutting it off at the head (a trick they used expertly on songs like “*_*“). All told, the New York band’s truly emerged with what’s likely to stand as one of the year’s best songs by the time it draws to a close- and, at this point, it’d be a shock if Hoodwink’d didn’t live up to that promise as well.

Listen to “Soft Power” over at the band’s bandcamp and pre-order Hoodwink’d from Double Double Whammy here.