Daughter (band)

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Daughter - SXSW 2012 - Ron Baker 1.jpg
Daughter at SXSW in 2012
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active2010–present
  • Elena Tonra
  • Igor Haefeli
  • Remi Aguilella

Daughter are an indie folk band from England. Fronted by North London native Elena Tonra (born 15 January 1990), they were formed in 2010 after the addition of Swiss-born guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella from France.[3] They have released four EPs, three singles 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, with her older brother, Kieran. 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]

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."[12] 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.[13] 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,[14] while The Fly in a 4/5 album review said that it's "word-in-the-ear intimate and mountain-range massive".[15] Daughter also won Independent Album of the Year for If You Leave at the 2013 AIM Independent Music Awards in London.[16] 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,[17] 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.[18][19]

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".[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

Music From Before the Storm[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.[23]


In November 2018, Elena Tonra announced Ex:Re, her upcoming solo debut album. It was released on 30 November 2018 via 4AD, with its first single "Romance" released on 26 November 2018.[24]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The band's song "Youth" was played in an advertisement for the Tour de France on ITV4;[25] as well as in a commercial by Norwegian airline company Widerøe;[26] as well as in Season 1, Episode 6 of Lovesick on Channel 4 (now owned by Netflix).[27]
  • The song "Youth" was featured in the 2014 feature film, A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul.[28]
  • The song "Youth" was featured in Series 7 Episode 4 of Cold Feet.[29]
  • The song "Touch" was used in Season 3, Episode 6 of the American fantasy drama series Teen Wolf.[30]
  • The songs "Youth" and "Home" were used in Season 8, Episode 19 and Season 9, Episode 6 of the American medical drama series Grey's Anatomy.[31]
  • The song "Medicine" was used for a BBC One Drama promotional video that first aired in October 2013.[32] Additionally, it was used in Season 3, Episode 20 "Death Benefit" of the American drama series Person of Interest.[33] The song was also remixed by Joji Miller in 2014.[citation needed]
  • The song "Youth" was used in the first season trailer for the BBC One series Our Girl.[34]
  • A remix of "Home" by Jon Hopkins was featured on the soundtrack to the British film How I Live Now, which was released on CD in October 2013.[35]
  • The songs "Smother" and “Medicine” were used in Season 8 Episode 11 "You Made a Choice to Be Good" and Season 3 Episode 20 “Do Not Go Gentle” of the American fantasy drama series The Vampire Diaries.[36]
  • The songs "Numbers", "Departure" and "Dreams of William" were used in the reveal trailer for Life Is Strange: Before the Storm.[37][38] The latter two tracks were later included on the soundtrack, Music from Before the Storm.[39]
  • The song "The End" was used in the closing sequence of the first episode of Netflix's Altered Carbon.[40]
  • The song "Youth" was used in the closing sequence of 20th episode,Season 1 of American Broadcasting Company's Forever (U.S. TV series).[41][42]
  • The song "Youth" was featured in the 6th episode ("Liv") of the sixth series of Channel 4 teen drama Skins.
  • The song "Youth" was used in season 1, episode 11[43] of the Marvel series The Gifted.[44]
  • The Song "Youth" was used in the British drama series Cuffs during the final minutes of S01 E01.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
If You Leave[49] 16 97 50 21 42 44 109 88 27 65
Not to Disappear[50]
  • Released: 15 January 2016
  • Label: 4AD
  • Formats: CD, digital download, LP
17 80 26 20 26 11 32 27 107 26 30 40 12
Music from Before the Storm
  • Released: 1 September 2017
  • Label: Glassnote
  • Formats: digital download
93 86

Extended plays[edit]


  • "Smother" (4AD, 2012)
  • "Human" (4AD, 2013)
  • "Youth" (4AD, 2013)
  • "Doing the Right Thing" (4AD, 2015)
  • "Numbers" (4AD, 2015)
  • "How" (4AD, 2016)
  • "No Care" (4AD, 2016)
  • "The End" (4AD, 2016)
  • "Burn It Down" (2017)


  • Elena Tonra – vocals, guitar, bass
  • Igor Haefeli – guitar, bass
  • Remi Aguilella – drums, percussion


  1. ^ Spiegel, Amy Rose (15 January 2016). "Daughter: Not to Disappear". Rolling Stone.
  2. ^ "Daughter – If You Leave". musicOMH.com. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  3. ^ "One to watch: Daughter | Music". The Guardian. 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  4. ^ "Daughter (2) Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  5. ^ "Daughter Tickets, Tour Dates 2016 & Concerts – Songkick". Songkick.com. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  6. ^ a b c Aidan Smith (2013-03-03). "British band Daughter on matters of life & death". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  7. ^ a b c d e Power, Ed (2013-03-04). "The first lady of nu folk". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  8. ^ Campion, Freddie. "Artist of the Week: Daughter's Elena Tonra". Vogue.com/. Conde Naste. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Beaven, Rachelle (2014-01-24). "Daughter Talk Laneway 2014, Incremental Success & Album Number Two". Music Feeds. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  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 Sign to 4AD". 4AD. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Killers live, Daughter on the phone, Huw lookalikes". BBC Radio 1. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  14. ^ Hamilton, Billy (2013-03-15). "Album Review: Daughter - If You Leave / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  15. ^ "Daughter 'If You Leave' review". thefly.co.uk. 2013-03-23. Archived from the original on 23 March 2013.
  16. ^ "AIM Independent Music Awards 2013 - Winners Announced! - The Association of Independent Music". Musicindie.com. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  17. ^ "Daughter To Headline Beacons, Further Festivals Announced". 4AD. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  18. ^ "Daughter's '4AD Session EP' Released Physically". 4AD. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  19. ^ Sweeting, Joe (16 April 2014). "EP | Daughter – 4AD Session". For Folk's Sake. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  20. ^ Earls, John (3 September 2014). "Daughter discuss 'more extreme' new album". Nme.com. Time Inc (UK) ltd. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  21. ^ "Daughter detail new album 'Not To Disappear', 'Doing The Right Thing' video". 4AD. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  22. ^ DaughterVEVO (28 July 2016). "Daughter - No Care". Retrieved 4 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ "Daughter release 'Music From Before The Storm'". DIY. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  24. ^ "Daughter's Elena Tonra announces solo album as Ex:Re". DIY Magazine. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  25. ^ "Daughter "Youth" for Tour de France 2012", Newsitem, Universal Music Publishing Group, London, 27 June 2012.
  26. ^ Wideroe – Grandpa's magic trick – English version. Widerøes Flyveselskap. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  27. ^ "Music from Lovesick S1E06". TuneFind. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  28. ^ "Music from A Long Way Down". Tunefind. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Music from Cold Feet S7E04". Tunefind. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Music from Teen Wolf S3E06". TuneFind. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  31. ^ "Grey's Anatomy Music". tunefind. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  32. ^ BBC One Drama Promo. BBC. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  33. ^ "Music from Person of Interest Episode 0320". TuneFind. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  34. ^ BBC (28 June 2014). "Our Girl: Trailer - BBC One". Retrieved 4 June 2018 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ "How I Live Now (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Jon Hopkins on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  36. ^ "The Vampire Diaries". tunefind. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  37. ^ Life Is Strange (2017-06-11), Life is Strange: Before the Storm Announce Trailer [E3 2017], retrieved 2017-06-12
  38. ^ Life Is Strange (2017-07-24), Life Is Strange: Before the Storm First Gameplay [E3 2017]
  39. ^ "Music from Before the Storm by Daughter on Apple Music". iTunes Store (AU). Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  40. ^ "Altered Carbon". tunefind. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Forever" Best Foot Forward (TV Episode 2015), retrieved 2018-02-16
  42. ^ "Music from Forever (2014) S1E20". Tunefind. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  43. ^ "Music from The Gifted S1E11". Tunefind. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  44. ^ "The Gifted (TV series)". 1 May 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018 – via Wikipedia.
  45. ^ "Daughter UK Chart History". UK Chart Company. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  46. ^ "Daughter US Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  47. ^ "Daughter Discography". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  48. ^ "Daughter Canadian Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  49. ^ "If You Leave European Chart Performances". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  50. ^ "Not To Disappear European Chart Performances". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 22 April 2017.

External links[edit]