Daughter at 170 Russell (Melbourne)

I descended into 170 Russell this Monday to the peaceful and atmospheric sounds of Fractures, the local boy opening up for British folk stars Daughter. Only recently coming across Fractures’ (otherwise known as Mark Zito) sound, it was pretty epic to see the haunting stories and melodies being played to a full house. The tunes off his self-titled EP, and 2015 single ‘Reactor’ sounded even more grand with a band, capturing the audience’s attention in good fashion for an opening act. Finishing up with some new music, it’s safe to say Fractures will be one to watch for 2016.

After a brief interlude, Daughter came out to rapturous applause and launched into  ‘How’ from their new album Not to Disappear. The track definitely is a good pick for a set opener, quickly growing in sound and scale, filling the room with simple but powerful riffs. Older tracks like ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Amsterdam’ do elicit more reaction from the audience, with singer Elena Tonra’s voice caressing lyrics with ease over murmuring synths. Gorgeous and chilling to listen to yes, but it’s tracks from the sophomore album that highlight the band’s growth musically. Igor Haefeli’s guitar sounds massive in ‘New Ways’, screaming out and building in enveloping crescendos, before coming to a halt, is a definite set highlight. ‘No Care’s infectious pulsating drums and guitar riffs, coupled with Tonra’s rapid vocal delivery, gets the crowd moving and proves to be a welcome change-up from the rest of the set.

While these newer songs do sound amazing live, personal favourite ‘Shallows’ from their debut album If You Leave, sounds spectacular live and definitely hits the crowd somewhere deep. With guitarist Haefeli thanking the crowd for “getting depressed with us”, it did have me noticing the audience more. Possibly one of the first concerts where the music performed is not generally optimistic, it made for a really powerful concert experience. The audience remained motionless for the entire set, apart from some slight swaying and the aforementioned ‘No Care’, totally enveloped in the Londoners emotional walls of sound. One of the best examples of this was during ‘Doing the Right Thing’, where Tonra was singing the final bars solo fully capturing the audience’s attention and getting one of the loudest applauses of the evening. The chilling “let the pictures soak” final lyric was without doubt one, of the show’s most memorable moments.

Finishing with a more upbeat number in ‘Fossa’, the audience was left with a prime example of how the band’s sound has expanded in scope and emotion since their debut record. Guitars and bass, with pounding percussion from drummer Remi Aguilella featuring throughout, ended up being a perfect way to end the set. Despite muddling their way through the middle of the set where tracks may have got moved around to ensure dynamism, it was a showcase of a more confident and mature band.


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