It’s been five and a half years since the last full-length from Daughter; I’m counting the mostly-instrumental video game soundtrack Music From Before The Storm because I loved it, but if you insist on counting it a discography appendix, it’s been seven years. Either way, it’s not unusually long in this day and age, but long enough to wonder if they were still a going concern, particularly with frontwoman Elena Tonra establishing her ex:re solo persona two years ago.
But the trio are back, having just announced their fourth/third album, Stereo Mind Game, due out April 7. And while the declaration that this outing is “their most optimistic record yet” might give pause to those who liked their previous mission statement of “depicting the darkest emotions”, those who were just as enamoured by their signature sound of cascading echo-y guitars and Tonra’s aching vocals will be find themselves in familiar, comfortable territory from the first notes of the first single, “Be On Your Way”.
The press release accompanying the video states:
The track is a longing but resilient song about an enduring connection that is also indefinable. The romantic figure Tonra addresses in the song is someone she met in California while writing the record. They shared a significant connection but she knew the Atlantic lay between them. The video for ‘Be on Your Way’ evokes a collection of memories, with footage of Tonra superimposed with images of beautiful passing moments – the flight of a bird, a field of flowers. ‘Be On Your Way’ is not a loss of hope but a confidence in and acceptance of the passage of time.DAUGHTER announce new album ‘Stereo Mind Game’ – out 7th April @ XSNoise
And the background is further elaborated on in the band’s new official bio:
Over the next couple of years – during which they worked on their own projects, including Tonra’s solo record as Ex:Re – Daughter met occasionally to write together in studios in London, Portland and in San Diego, where Haefeli lived for six months in 2019. The record’s central romantic figure is someone Tonra met out there when she visited from London. They shared a significant connection, but she knew the Atlantic lay between them.
It’s this that she sings about on “Be On Your Way”, a longing but resilient song about an enduring connection that is also undefinable. Where previous Daughter songs mourned old relationships, here Tonra is accepting of whatever the future brings. “A friend said to me recently: just because something ends, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t real,” she says. Haefeli likens the revelation to the pressed flower image: “It’s still there. It still exists. It grew that spring.”Stereo Mind Game @ 4AD
So, optimistic but still full of heartbreak, longing, and sadness. Got it.