Posts Tagged ‘Daughter’

Elena Tonra of Daughter resumes her Ex:Re moniker to present a reinterpretation of her debut solo album. “Ex:Re with 12 Ensemble”, released today, is a collaboration between Tonra, classical composer Josephine Stephenson and one of the UK’s leading string orchestras, 12 Ensemble.  Originally released in 2018, Ex:Re (pronounced “Ex Ray” and meaning “regarding Ex”) laid bare Tonra’s unfiltered internal monologue after the end of a relationship.  Containing her most personal lyrics to date and brought into being with the help of Stephenson and producer/drummer Fabian Prynn, Ex:Re struck a chord with the broken-hearted and brought closure to a chapter in Tonra’s life.

Ex:Re with 12 Ensemble reimagines and complements its predecessor.  It was recorded by Fabian Prynn during performances at Kings Place (the multi-arts venue in London’s King’s Cross neighbourhood) on the 30th November 2019, where Tonra was joined onstage by Stephenson on piano and the 12-piece string orchestra, 12 Ensemble.  

Josephine Stephenson, a celebrated composer, arranger and performer, was approached by Kings Place to curate an event for their “Venus Unwrapped” 2019 season.  Stephenson saw space in the programming for a live performance that bridged the gap between the classical and non-classical worlds, and having recently been involved with Ex:Re, collaborating once more with Tonra made perfect sense.

Stephenson’s new arrangements of the original Ex:Re album into classical form strip back the songs, heightening the emotion and vulnerability of the lyrics.  “Working with acoustic instruments was an opportunity to add subtle, yet tangible dynamic details to highlight Elena’s words.  As the Ex:Re songs are often built from loops, I enjoyed exploring the multitude of possible variations and reinventions within these, adding counter-melodies and making small changes in harmony or voicing.  After touring with the Ex:Re band for a year, I knew the songs inside out, and had already started expanding and orchestrating them in my head. I  also felt fearless knowing I was writing for the 12 Ensemble, who are all exceptionally talented musicians and comfortable in all sorts of genres.“

Tonra and Stephenson found respite in the recordings months after the Kings Place performance.  “We were mixing the record while concerts and events around the world were being cancelled and postponed, so it was really moving to listen to the audio over and over during that time.  The sound of a room filled with people was, and is, something we were all greatly missing” says Tonra.  Ex:Re with 12 Ensemble, mixed by Jonathan Lefèvre-Reich, warps the space between audience and performer.  It places the listener in the centre of the music, surrounded by a semi-circular wall of string sounds, to recreate the experience of the performance from up close.  “There is also some magic in there” says Tonra, “Jonathan added some beautiful moments of story-telling in the mix.  On ‘New York’, for example, the strings suddenly feel as though they are dripping down the sides of your head.”

Lydia Loveless Issue 54 Cover

Lydia Loveless is working through a few things on her new album. “Daughter” is her first new release in four years, during which time Loveless has got divorced, moved from Ohio to North Carolina and was frank on social media about her mental health, and also having been sexually harassed by someone in the orbit of her former record label. So there’s a lot to cover on her fifth LP. She hasn’t lost her knack for writing brutally candid songs: Loveless is as frank as ever on these 10 tracks. She has, however, learned to pull back from the flame-thrower vocal sensibility of her earlier material. Loveless‘ songs display her usual directness and fearlessness, but there’s also plenty of vulnerability.

While she has often included laugh-out-loud lines in her lyrics, they don’t seem to fit this particular kind of therapy-through-songwriting.

The title track is a real gem. It addresses the difficulties women face to be accepted for who they are, not as people whose sovereignty is considered through their relation to others, whether as daughters, mothers or sisters. Loveless is at her most Stevie Nicks-like here, backed by a rhythm section evoking the sturdy base of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.

Loveless has a massive, powerful voice that she uses to great effect, though the effect is even greater, and hits even harder, when she blends it with a measure of restraint instead of going full-bore all the time. Singing with greater nuance also helps put the focus on her lyrics, which can be flat-out wrenching. Loveless sings with a mix of remorse and dismay on “Wringer,” a divorce song where the opening lines refer to dividing up possessions: “You give the sweetest kisses, dear,” she sings on the refrain. “But you leave the stinger.”

“September” is grim but youthfully defiant, its piano complemented by cello and Laura Jane Grace’s vocals.

Electronic percussion and synths, not usually part of the Loveless sound, provide the foundations for hopeful closer “Don’t Bother Mountain,” about her life’s current chapter. She finally lets her voice soar, as if emphasizing her will to keep going.

The challenges and traumas that led to a new start have made her talents as a musician and songwriter even sharper. Here’s hoping that the fine humour that gave her songs a special spark will be back soon.

“Daughter” available through Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late Records Released on: 2020-09-25

Ex:Re

Ex:Re  the solo recordings of Elena Tonra from Daughter – is now available worldwide on vinyl and CD, after the digital release of the album late last year.

The album was Rough Trade’s Album of the Month, and they will be celebrating by offering an exclusive limited blue pressing of the vinyl with a free CD featuring live versions of four tracks recorded at Hoxton Hall, London in November 2018.

Last month Tonra shared the stunning visuals for ‘The Dazzler’.  Directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (creators of Daughter’s triptych of videos for their second record Not To Disappear), the video imagines ‘The Dazzler’ as the hotel depicted in Tonra’s lyrics and places the magnificent British actress Maxine Peake languishing alone in one of its rooms (with cameo appearance from Tonra). Running parallel to Daughter, Tonra has assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re (pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need.

“A spacious, raw record.” – Q
“The overall effect is immersive, wallowing, sad but often beautiful.” – Uncut
“Fascinating but demanding debut.” – MOJO
“An album that’s fully formed, rich and deeply affecting.” – DIY
“A beautifully understated mood piece and Tonra’s finest work to date, with or without the band.”
– Loud And Quiet

Elena said of the album, “Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it.  In every scenario, there’s either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment.  I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes.  He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”

Tonra’s candid solo songs document the time after a relationship ended and are written like unsent letters to herself and others.  Taking on a creative moniker, she chose Ex:Re to mean ‘regarding ex’ and also ‘X-Ray’ as a way to look inside and see what is really there.  Writing took a year but the recording process lasted mere months, turning to Fabian Prynn (4AD’s in-house engineer and producer) and composer Josephine Stephenson on cello to help bring Ex:Reto life.

Ex:Re’s first single ‘Romance’ its accompanying video (directed by Antonia Luxem

Taken from Ex:Re’s self titled debut album, digitally out now on 4AD & Glassnote Records.

EX RE – ” Ex Re “

Posted: February 1, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Elena Tonra is the singer, songwriter and guitarist for Daughter. This is her first album for the new project that she runs simultaneously alongside Daughter. The album was recorded with Fabian Prynn (4AD producer/engineer) with Josephine Stephenson on cello and inspired by a shattered relationship. ‘Romance’ is the first single taken from Ex:Re’s self titled debut album, digitally out now on 4AD & Glassnote Records.

Running parallel to Daughter, Elena has assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re(pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album. The 10-track album Ex:Re out now.

Warm, rattling, reassuring strings, tickling percussive beats and rhythms. Soft soothing vocals pair with warm strings, wrapping themselves around the vocals and hugging the strings of your heart. Sliding, picked strings match heartbeat rhythm pulses. The intimate, warm sound of home. Mood is turned into an instrument and a feeling of closeness surrounds you. Eastern tinges edge into the music, climbing vocals and sinuous, resonating drums. An eloquent tale, a catharsis of feeling. The sound of a heart breaking is something to fall in love with.

Elena has said of the album,“Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there’s either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”

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A final clip of ‘All I Wanted’, recorded live in one-take at the Asylum Chapel in Peckham, London.

Composer Josephine Stephenson oversaw the new arrangement, with Elena joined in the chapel by string & vocal quartets.

The original version of ‘All I Wanted’ features on the ‘Music From Before The Storm’ score, which today received an Ivor Novello Awards nomination in the Best Original Video Game Score category.

‘All I Wanted’ original song by Elena Tonra. From ‘Music from Before the Storm’:

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Daughter’s original music score for the videogame ‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm’, will be given an official vinyl release as part of Record Store Day on 21st april, 2018.

‘music from before the storm’, which was released digitally last year to coincide with the game’s release, will be made available as a limited-edition double-lp with a gatefold sleeve, and features additional artwork by lindsay mcdonagh. ‘Before the Storm’ is the prequel to ‘Life is Strange’, the hugely successful bafta award winning narrative driven game released in 2015. boundary-breaking, with principal characters tackling real life issues such as bullying, suicide and teen pregnancy, the episodic series has garnered plaudits, whilst daughter’s soundtrack was celebrated by both music and videogame fans. Daughter is the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella. established in 2010, the band have gained a loyal fanbase, playing to sold-out audiences around the world. their two albums, the silver-certified If You Leave (2013) and 2016’s Not To Disappear both debuted in the top 20 of the uk album charts. limited to 2000 copies for the uk and ireland.

Before The Storm is the prequel to Life Is Strange, the hugely successful BAFTA award-winning narrative driven game released in 2015.  It was a boundary-breaking video game, with principal characters drawn from real life facing everyday issues, touching upon difficult situations such as bullying, suicide, teen pregnancy as well as tackling the complexities of love and friendship.  The original game was celebrated for the strength of its music, and Daughter’s involvement in the next instalment is a brilliant continuation in the franchise’s development.

'Music from Before the Storm

We’re so happy to introduce you to ‘Music From Before The Storm’.

At the end of 2016, we were invited to write the score for the new Life Is Strange video game, ‘Life is Strange: Before The Storm’. We’ve always loved the idea of mixing our music with picture and we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to make our very first original soundtrack!

We felt very moved by the story from the outset, it is such a heartfelt game and an honest portrayal of real life. Writing for the game allowed us to draw inspiration from the characters’ situations (… and re-living some of our own memories) to find a place where our music could live within the story!

As well as being heard within the game, the soundtrack is going to be released 1st September, You can listen to one of the songs “Burn It Down” .

So much love,
Elena Igor & Remi xxx

‘Burn It Down’ by Daughter, from ‘Music from Before the Storm

Daughter - Not to Disappear

London trio Daughter’s debut album If You Leave was an excellent, tender, delicate record and, on the strength of the first taste of the new album, The single Doing The Right Thing – they’ve retained their sense of melancholy and added some steel to it too.

A few listens in, not long after its release in January, we thought to ourselves If “Not to Disappear” is not in our end of year list, it will have been an incredible year for music’. As it turned out, 2016 was a pretty decent year for new music releases but Daughter’s second album remained a high, and powerful, point.

“Doing the Right Thing” continues to provoke tears when listening. Its anguished take on dementia, told from a sufferer’s point of view, not so much tugging at heartstrings as wrenching them out by the handful while making you chop onions for hours. It is one of the saddest, most emotive tracks we’ve heard in years and its power does not diminish the more familiar you are with it.

By contrast “No Care” is powered by a visceral dissection of a less than pleasant sexual liaison. Here there is anger and disgust but the rawness and honesty remains. Indeed, Not to Disappear is startling in its openness, poignancy, accessibility and beauty. For our money it shows a real evolution and maturity from a band who have always sounded gorgeous, and now seem to have a lot more to say within it.

‘Doing The Right Thing’ was the first single to be taken from Daughter’s new album ‘Not To Disappear’, released on the 15th January 2016

DAUGHTER – ” No Care “

Posted: December 25, 2016 in MUSIC
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Coming back with a slightly heavier, more fleshed out sound, Daughter‘s second album ‘Not To Disappear’ is a corker. If the first album, If You Leave, is the beauty, then this one is certainly the beast (but a lovely beast with very soft fur).

“A lot of negativity I felt we had from our first album was like ‘Oh, it’s really sad’. Obviously the lyrics are hugely personal so when someone said they didn’t like my writing, they were essentially saying they didn’t like me and they didn’t like my brain. I was anxious about the whole thing. This time, I don’t care as much. There is something quite nice about that, even if just for my own sanity, like I don’t need to feel embarrassed about my brain. This is what it does. This is what it thinks. I am openly fine with being a sad person.”

“Also, don’t forget, sad is such a basic word. It encompasses so many things. It doesn’t do justice to that feeling, it doesn’t define everything you can do with that feeling, you know? It really depends on what context it’s in. There are so many different words for it. You could write so many books about it and never really explain; it’s something so inherent. Anyone who is alive has experienced it but some people recognise it and some people can’t even put their finger on it.”

’No Care’ is taken from Daughter’s new album ‘Not To Disappear’, released via 4AD/Glassnote.

Daughter – the word alone inspires feelings of love, protection, fostering, sharing and hope. In KEXP listeners and viewers, there’s even a stronger bond, as the band Daughter have become, since their first appearance on our airwaves in 2012, one of the most endearing bands to ever perform live in our studio, accruing over two million views from just two sessions (they performed a third session at the Cutting Room Studios as well). The North London trio offered what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls “a more refined and nuanced version of their brooding, folk-tinged dream-pop” in their hotly anticipated sophomore LP, Not to Disappear. Daughter need not worry now that will ever happen, as with yet another absolutely gorgeous live session, they’ll be forever sealed in our memories.

http://KEXP.ORG presents Daughter performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded March 19, 2016.

Songs:
New Ways
How
Numbers
Doing The Right Thing