Daughter (band)

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Daughter at SXSW in 2012
Daughter at SXSW in 2012
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active2010–present
  • Elena Tonra
  • Igor Haefeli
  • Remi Aguilella

Daughter are an English indie folk trio. Fronted by North London native Elena Tonra (born 15 January 1990), the band was formed in 2010 after the addition of Swiss guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella from France.[3] They have released four EPs and three albums, and are currently signed to Glassnote (North America) and 4AD (Europe).[4] After playing the local London circuit, they toured supporting Ben Howard around Europe and have since played headlining tours around North America, Europe and Australia.[5]


Of Irish–Italian parentage, Elena Tonra was raised in Northwood, London. Through her Dublin-born grandfather she experienced traditional Irish music from an early age. Her interest in music began when she received a copy of the album Grace by Jeff Buckley.[6] After being bullied at school she used writing to "deal emotionally with life". Changing schools at the age of 12 had a great impact and since then Tonra writes "about things I feel difficult talking about in adulthood”.[7]

Tonra began her career in music by performing acoustic shows under her own name around London. She found that this "didn't suit me at all. As a musician, I'm self-taught and felt I was restricted by my abilities".[7] Haefeli attended one of the acoustic shows that Tonra was performing and found that "she had this power which drew everyone in".[6] Originally from Neuchatel, Haefeli also attended London's Institute of Contemporary Music Performance where he met Tonra during a songwriting course.[8] They began performing together with Haefeli adding electric guitars.[7] After their first demo started word of mouth on the band, Daughter self-released their debut EP, His Young Heart, on 20 April 2011, recorded in Haefeli's bedsit.[9] Later that same year, they released another EP, The Wild Youth, on 2 October through artist-led Communion Records. The latter EP earned praise from British website For Folk's Sake who described Daughter as "one of the unique sounds in the pop landscape today."[10] BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens also invited them to perform a Maida Vale Session for his show.[11]

Tonra and Haefeli became romantically involved and the guitarist insisted that they "keep our couple life and our band life separate, [because] I don’t want Elena to stop saying things in her songs that are personal [as] songwriters need to be expansive and they need to be unafraid”.[6] While Tonra concurred with "Igor doesn’t question my lyrics. He regards what we do as an art form. He certainly doesn’t try to rewrite my words. I never tell anyone what my songs are about, not even him. I feel they are direct enough, anyway. They aren’t especially obscure".[7] Tonra and Haefeli ended their relationship before the release of their album If You Leave in 2013.[12]

In 2012, shortly after headlining a 700-capacity show in London, Daughter announced their signing to UK label 4AD. Speaking of this, Elena commented "we couldn't be happier to be working with 4AD, a label that has released so many inspirational records and whose ethos we hold in very high regard. It really is a privilege."[13] Their first single proper, "Smother", was released in October of that year. It was playlisted by both BBC Radio 1 and 6Music, while being awarded Single of the Week by long-time supporter Huw Stephens.[14] In December 2012 the band appeared on the David Letterman Show prior to the release of the record, which Tonra described as "perhaps (...) a cart-before-the-horse situation".[7]

If You Leave[edit]

The band released their debut album, If You Leave, in March 2013 (May in Norway). Charting at Number 16 in the UK, it was also received favourably in the press; "An album as beautifully conceived as If You Leave is one you follow from start to finish, riveted by the story it weaves and the emotion it bleeds. And in these digital days that feels like a remarkable achievement" Drowned in Sound said in their 9/10 review,[15] while The Fly in a 4/5 album review said that it's "word-in-the-ear intimate and mountain-range massive".[16] Daughter also won Independent Album of the Year for If You Leave at the 2013 AIM Independent Music Awards in London.[17] The band began a lengthy tour in support of the album and recruited Luke Saunders as an additional live-member to ensure the material could be reproduced. As Haefeli explained: "He plays everything we can’t play, which is keyboards, bass and some more guitar. We were really happy with the result. It took quite a while and a lot of rehearsing, but we are really happy with how the songs sound live". The band also use a number of vocal and guitar effects to achieve this sound live.[9]

During the first two months of 2014, the band travelled to the Far East and Australasia for a number of headlining shows and as part of the St Jerome's Laneway Festival.[9] In April, Daughter supported The National on six North American tour dates,[18] while they also announced the release of a 4AD Sessions EP, a collaboration with composer Joe Duddell. It consists of five tracks performed live at Portmeirion with an eight-piece ensemble that was also filmed.[19][20]

Not to Disappear[edit]

In September 2014 the band indicated that they had started working on a follow-up at their own studio in London. Haefeli explained: "We've played so many shows that the first album became rockier on stage and we're playing with that dynamic".[21] On 6 April 2015 Daughter announced they would be supporting Ben Howard on a short string of tour dates in the United States.

On 30 September 2015 the band announced that they would release the 10-track album Not to Disappear in 2016, while the first single "Doing the Right Thing" was made available as a music video.[22] Not to Disappear was released by 4AD on 15 January 2016, preceded by the music video for second single "Numbers" in November 2015. On 28 July 2016 a music video for "No Care" was released.[23]

Music from Before the Storm and Ex:Re[edit]

On 1 September 2017, Daughter released their third album, titled Music From Before the Storm. The 13-track LP, mostly instrumental, was written as the soundtrack of 2017 video game Life Is Strange: Before the Storm.[24]

In November 2018, Elena Tonra announced Ex:Re, her upcoming solo debut album. It was released on 30 November 2018 under the artist name Ex:Re via 4AD, with its first single "Romance" released on 26 November 2018.[25] With The release of Ex:Re, Daughter went on a Hiatus. In a Guitar Magazine interview, Elena said: "We decided to have a little break, because we realised that we’d been together and working together for about eight years, so we decided it would be nice – in a friendly way! – to spend some time apart.” In 2021, Ex:Re released Ex:Re with 12 Ensemble, a collaboration with composer Josephine Stephenson and the string orchestra 12 Ensemble. [26]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
If You Leave 16 50 42 21 109 88 44 65 97
Not to Disappear
  • Released: 15 January 2016[39]
  • Label: 4AD
  • Formats: CD, digital download, LP, streaming
17 26 11 20 107 26 32 40 12 80

Soundtrack albums[edit]

List of soundtrack albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Music from Before the Storm
  • Released: 1 September 2017[40]
  • Label: Glassnote
  • Formats: Digital download, Vinyl (Limited Press)
93 86

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected details
Title EP details
  • Released: 2010[citation needed]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
His Young Heart
  • Released: 20 April 2011[41]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
The Wild Youth
  • Released: 2 October 2011[42]
  • Label: Communion
  • Format: Digital download
4AD Sessions
  • Released: 1 January 2014[43]
  • Label: 4AD
  • Format: Digital download


List of singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Certifications Album
"Smother" 2012 If You Leave
"Human" 2013
"Youth" If You Leave and The Wild Youth
"Doing the Right Thing" 2015 Not to Disappear
"How" 2016
"No Care"
"The End"


  • Elena Tonra – vocals, guitar, bass, piano
  • Igor Haefeli – guitar, bass, keyboards, programming
  • Remi Aguilella – drums, percussion, sampling pad


  1. ^ Spiegel, Amy Rose (15 January 2016). "Daughter: Not to Disappear". Rolling Stone.
  2. ^ "Daughter – If You Leave". musicOMH.com. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  3. ^ "One to watch: Daughter | Music". The Guardian. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Daughter (2) Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Daughter Tickets, Tour Dates 2016 & Concerts – Songkick". Songkick.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Aidan Smith (3 March 2013). "British band Daughter on matters of life & death". The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e Power, Ed (4 March 2013). "The first lady of nu folk". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  8. ^ Campion, Freddie. "Artist of the Week: Daughter's Elena Tonra". Vogue.com/. Conde Naste. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Beaven, Rachelle (24 January 2014). "Daughter Talk Laneway 2014, Incremental Success & Album Number Two". Music Feeds. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Daughter – The Wild Youth". For Folk's Sake. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Daughter in session at Maida Vale". BBC Radio 1. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Daughter's Elena Tonra: 'I attach my work to feeling unhappy'". The Independent. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Daughter Sign to 4AD". 4AD. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Killers live, Daughter on the phone, Huw lookalikes". BBC Radio 1. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  15. ^ Hamilton, Billy (15 March 2013). "Album Review: Daughter - If You Leave / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Daughter 'If You Leave' review". thefly.co.uk. 23 March 2013. Archived from the original on 23 March 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ "AIM Independent Music Awards 2013 - Winners Announced! - The Association of Independent Music". Musicindie.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Daughter To Headline Beacons, Further Festivals Announced". 4AD. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Daughter's '4AD Session EP' Released Physically". 4AD. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  20. ^ Sweeting, Joe (16 April 2014). "EP | Daughter – 4AD Session". For Folk's Sake. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  21. ^ Earls, John (3 September 2014). "Daughter discuss 'more extreme' new album". Nme.com. Time Inc (UK) ltd. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Daughter detail new album 'Not To Disappear', 'Doing The Right Thing' video". 4AD. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  23. ^ DaughterVEVO (28 July 2016). "Daughter - No Care". Retrieved 4 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ "Daughter release 'Music From Before The Storm'". DIY. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Daughter's Elena Tonra announces solo album as Ex:Re". DIY Magazine. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Daughter's Elena Tonra announces reinterpretation of solo debut album 'Ex:Re'". NME. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  27. ^ "Daughter: UK Chart History". UK Chart Company. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Daughter Discography". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Discografie Daughter" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  30. ^ "Daughter - Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Discographie Daughter". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  32. ^ "Discographie Daughter". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  33. ^ "Discografie Daughter" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Discography Adele". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Discographie Daughter". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  36. ^ "Daughter - Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  37. ^ "If You Leave European Chart Performances". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  38. ^ a b "British certifications – Daughter". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 31 July 2020. Type Daughter in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  39. ^ "Not To Disappear European Chart Performances". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  40. ^ "Music From Before the Storm by Daughter". Apple Music. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  41. ^ "'His Young Heart' EP - Daughter". Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  42. ^ "Wild Youth - EP by Daughter". Apple Music. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  43. ^ "Live at Air (Live) by Daughter". Apple Music. Retrieved 1 June 2019.

External links[edit]