Stereo Mind Game by Daughter album review by Zara Hederman for Northern Transmissions


Stereo Mind Game


A lot has happened in the seven years since Daughter released their second record, Not To Disappear. A title that, in retrospect, seems like a sort of unintentional foreshadowing from the trio. With two of the three members leaving their London base – Aguilella moved to Portland, Oregon while Haefeli settled in Bristol, England – and Elena Torna pursuing her solo career, it’s fair to say that it’s been busy for Daughter.

“I won’t hold you back,” are the first words uttered by Tonri on Stereo Mind Game, a tremendously textured and expansive body of work that heralds an exciting new chapter for the group. This sentiment is central to “Be On Your Way’s” narrative, which explores the shifting dynamic between two people and the untangling of their lives, it’s one of the few instances where the lyrics can be heard as both Tonri addressing a former partner or confronting herself. Considering the latter perspective when listening to Tonri, an endlessly commanding vocalist who shows great range in her register across the record, brings a completely different slant to “Party”, “I’m trying to keep my cool / My friends are vanishing,” she intones.

Musically, Stereo Mind Game contains some of their most cinematic instrumentation. This is established from the offset with “Intro”, where the band appears to reawaken after a period of hibernation. In the ambition displayed across these There’s an immediate sense that the trio are creatively invigorated across this record. Perhaps it was their surroundings – it should be noted that Stereo Mind Game was recorded in a myriad of locations such as California, Bristol, London and Vancouver, amongst others – or a general sense of artistic and personal growth that seeped into this work.
That textural richness created by the various synth layers present in “Neptune” and the beautiful twinkling motifs that illuminate in “Isolation’s” outro, are nicely contrasted with deft drumming and flairs of distorted guitar tones to create an extremely developed – and rarely overcrowded – world across these twelve songs. “Party”, “Dandelion” and “Future Lover” are driven by rock instrumentation in the compelling interplay between the consistently infectious drumming and alluring guitar melodies.

These moments do well to bring dynamism to the overall flow of the record which generally works very well consumed from start to finish. “(Missed Calls)” is one of the few instances where the flow is interrupted through the sharp lacerations of strings to the otherwise ambient soundscape. Elsewhere, the brilliantly atmospheric closer “Wish I Could See The Sea” – which contains an air of both Massive Attack and Portishead, specifically Beth Gibbons’ haunting cadence – encapsulates all of the captivating motifs scattered across the twelve tracks and ultimately leaves the listener
longing to return to this fascinating world.

To those who were uninitiated in Daughter’s discography, Stereo Mind Game is an excellent entry point to further explore their enveloping arrangements. Here, they incorporate elements from their discography whilst demonstrating that they are moving in a very positive direction with a more developed and intriguing sound.

Pre-order Stereo Mind Game by Daughter HERE


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