£5 & £10 Record Sale

Daughter - Stereo Mind Game
Daughter - Stereo Mind Game
Daughter - Stereo Mind Game
Daughter - Stereo Mind Game
Daughter - Stereo Mind Game
Daughter - Stereo Mind Game

Daughter - Stereo Mind Game

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4AD
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$33.00
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Pre Order Released 

07/04/23

Returning with their first studio album for seven years, Stereo Mind Game is a new chapter for Daughter. Released on 7 April, the group’s third record follows Not to Disappear (2016) and soundtrack Music from Before the Storm (2017). After more than a decade spent depicting the darkest emotions, the trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella present their most optimistic record yet.

 

The album’s lead single, ‘Be On Your Way’ is accompanied by a video created by Tiff Pritchett. 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.  

 

Connection and disconnection permeate Stereo Mind Game’s twelve songs literally and figuratively. In the intervening years since the Ivor Novello-nominated Music from Before the Storm (2017), the band has moved away from their initial London base – Aguilella relocated to Portland, Oregon, Haefeli to Bristol, England – and spent time on their own projects (including Tonra’s debut solo album under the moniker Ex:Re in 2018). However, despite the physical distance – further exacerbated by the pandemic – Daughter continued to meet and write together. Produced by Haefeli and Tonra, Stereo Mind Game was written and recorded in various locations including Devon, Bristol and London, England, San Diego, California, and Vancouver, Washington.

 

For the first time, Tonra’s is not a lone voice. Haefeli lends vocal lines on ‘Future Lover’ and ‘Swim Back’ and on ‘Neptune’ a choir appears. Voice notes from friends and family feature on ‘Wish I Could Cross The Sea’ and ‘(Missed Calls)’. London-based string orchestra, 12 Ensemble, feature throughout the album, with orchestration by Josephine Stephenson, and a brass quartet brings warmth to ‘Neptune’ and ‘To Rage’.

 

While Daughter’s previous work found power in emotional honesty, Stereo Mind Game welcomes opposing feelings. “It’s about not working in absolutes,” Haefeli says.

 

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.”

 

Daughter began recording the album’s twelve songs in earnest in 2021. Haefeli, who lives in Bristol, met with Tonra at Middle Farm Studios in Devon. Aguilella, who is based in Portland, Oregon, recorded his drum parts in Bocce Studio in Vancouver, Washington. Haefeli produced a number of the songs, while Tonra produced “Junkmail”. They co-produced the rest.

 

The longing to close physical distances – a feeling that only grew during the pandemic – has seeped into many of these tracks. On “Wish I Could Cross the Sea” we hear voice notes from Tonra’s young niece and nephew, who live in Italy. “(Missed Calls)” features another voice note, in which a friend describes a dream. Fed through some modular effects, it becomes glitchy, and haunting. These messages, attempts at connection from loved ones you’re unable to see, “can pull you out of the well”, Tonra says – but only if you pick up the phone.

When you let others in, beauty can arise. Deep feeling comes from the bows of the 12 Ensemble, the London-based string orchestra, who play on many of the album’s tracks. Arranged by Haefeli and Tonra, and orchestrated by Josephine Stephenson, their parts were – fittingly – recorded at The Pool, a space in Bermondsey, south London, which is a former swimming spot. A brass quartet also brings a new sonic warmth to “Neptune” and “To Rage”.

 

And for the first time, Tonra’s is not a lone voice. On “Dandelion”, which glistens with Haefeli’s chime-like guitars and Aguilella’s rousing drums, Tonra plays call and response with herself. Haefeli leads some vocal lines on the exhilarating “Future Lover”, and on “Neptune”, a choir appears. These vocalists are the string players of the 12 Ensemble. “It’s one of my favourite moments of the record,” Tonra says, “when suddenly, the crowd joins. It’s a very lonely song. But even when I’ve felt the most alone, arms have reached out to me.”

 

In order to maintain relationships with others, we must first make peace with ourselves. “Party” recounts a significant moment: the night that made Tonra realise she wanted to give up alcohol. It’s a topic she has written about before, but she needed distance to see it clearly. Haefeli borrows her image: “This time you had climbed out of the well,” he says, “and were looking back down.” It’s the song she’s most proud of, and the one that lends its lyrics to the album title (“Some stereo mind game I play with myself”), which refers to the conflicting voices we all have in our heads.

While Daughter’s previous work found power in emotional honesty, Stereo Mind Game welcomes opposing feelings. “It’s about not working in absolutes,” Haefeli says. After more than a decade spent depicting the darkest emotions, Daughter have made their most optimistic record yet.

 

 

Tracklisting:

 

  1. Intro
  2. Be On Your Way
  3. Party
  4. Dandelion
  5. Neptune
  6. Swim Back
  7. Junkmail
  8. Future Lover
  9. (Missed Calls)
  10. Isolation
  11. To Rage
  12. Wish I Could Cross The Sea
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