Review | Daughter and Choir of Young Believers at the Red Room

[E]veryone at the Red Room last Monday night arrived early; they were in on the secret. Daughter, the UK trio fronted by Elena Tonra, played their first night of their first US tour. If you’ve heard either of their EPs, it was a no brainer to be among the first see the band stateside. It was a short set, which wasn’t all that surprising as the trio has no full-length albums out, only two EPs.

But despite the lack of a full-length debut, there is a lot that makes Daughter special, starting with Elena Tonra’s voice, which is beautiful and sexy and melts with emotion. She brings life to the somber lyrics, with perfect delivery. On Landfill, her voice breathlessly begs, “push me out to sea,”. Only a few lines later, she regains her strength to implore, with weight this time to “leave me on the tracks.” Elena’s delivery has a way of making you feel that you’d do anything she says. Even if it would hurt her.

These slower tunes, like Landfill and Candles, were just as mesmerizing performed live. But other tracks were much darker and heavier, like Love, off of The Wild Youth  EP. Live, the guitars and drums were much more noticeable, and held their own, balancing Elena’s soaring vocals with depth and despair. Often times, the guitar riffs were reminiscent of what an smaller, stripped down Explosions in the Sky concert might sound like. But there are also elements similar that remind me of the xx, and at times, I hear a little Sharon Van Etten in Elena as well. It goes without saying, but if you haven’t already checked this band out and bought their two EPs (it’ll only set you back about $8. It’s worth it), get on it.

Denmark-based The Choir of Young Believers opened for Daughter, bringing alive a soaring macabre sound. The combination of organs and synths made for a unique sound that added drama to their big chamber folk sound. But lead singer Jannis Noya Makrigiannis’ vocals were crystal clear. Maybe it was the 80s style the band showed on stage (the cellist was wearing a side pony), but the band definitely channeled their inner The Cure. For an evening of tunes from Daughter that can rip your heart out in one verse, The Choir of Young Believers was a great choice of opener, building the audience up before Daughter tore us down.