A year after we first fell in love with Daughter's early demo of Run, we finally brought her into the studio to record a live session. Elena Tonra is now two EPs deep and has found herself on tour with the likes of Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Ben Howard.
With her latest EP release, Wild Youth, Daughter has taken her acoustic gems even further, complementing her gorgeous voice with additional instrumentation whilst retaining all the profoundly honest, and often, dark, lyricism that we've come to expect.
Elena and guitarist/producer, Igor dropped by to record exclusive performances of Landfill, Run and Youth. We since caught up with Elena to chat about her incredible year and what she has coming up.
We managed to steal you away for a few hours last time you were touring the UK, traveling via train to all of your shows - how did you find the experience as a whole?
It was really great touring with Benjamin Francis Leftwich. He is such a lovely guy. I was so ill at the start of the tour, I managed to get flu on the second day, so lots of Lemsip and early nights to begin with! And the train was a very scenic and beautiful way to travel around the country – but it meant we had to carry all of our gear on our backs and all of our luggage, so me and Igor were not the happiest of travelers running from one train to the next!
How did the rest of the dates go? Did you have any favourite venues?
The rest of the dates were great! We loved The Musician in Leicester and the Norwich gig. We played at the Union Chapel too in London, that was such an amazing venue, a scary amount of people - that was the biggest crowd we had ever played to, so as you can imagine I was staring at my feet a lot!
Looking back at The Amazing Sessions video, I think the laid back atmosphere of the studio really suited your songs - did you enjoy the day as a whole?
We loved it. I was still pretty ill when we came in, so laid back was good for me! It was so lovely, the place and people were so warm and welcoming (and excellent at drawing maps).
The tracks you played were stunning - Landfill, Run and Youth. Run was such a huge track here, have you noticed a difference since it was first released?
Well I think Amazing Radio really helped us to get those songs out to people! Run was from an early demos EP, I didn't expect it to really be heard, but when it got into The Amazing Chart, I was amazed.. (pun!) and the same with His Young Heart it was recorded in Igor's bedroom, we had no real expectations from the EP so every play we got was a massive compliment.
The track that we're playing on Amazing Radio at the moment, Home, shows what seems to be a progression in both writing and style - it has such depth to it and something a bit edgier to the song itself. Do you see a difference in this track to the earlier material?
I think the second EP has a definite bitter edge to it. Lyrically It's probably as dark as the first EP, mainly because happy songs don't come that naturally to me, but there are more instrumentation and drums and bass. I think they add a moody tone to the whole thing. It's the sound we always had in our heads, but we wanted to progress in our own time. I think the album will probably be a further exploration of that sound.
I see that you've recently been on tour across Europe with Ben Howard - how did you find it?
It was incredible. To travel on the road with a lovely band and to play in different countries, in beautiful cities, to a whole new audience. It was an adventure.
There are many artists here on amazingtunes.com that request advice on how to further their musical ambitions, get themselves heard, or even signed - do you place much importance on having 'a deal' these days and could you tell us a little bit about how you first started out?
Well if they have you guys to help them, that's already such a great thing. I think it's better not to think about 'deals' etc. It's best to firstly love what you create and not to make something to be loved by other people. And play as many gigs as possible, it helped me with confidence, I'm still nervous when I perform but the more gigs you play the easier it becomes.
Lastly, what's up next for you? Home for Christmas?
Yes London for Christmas and hopefully Switzerland for New Years! We have our 'Daughter and Friends' shows coming up in a week. 6th, 7th and 8th December in Bristol, London and Manchester. I'm so excited about each show, we have such great musicians playing. I don't know if I'm more excited to watch the show than be in it!
Check out more from Daughter at her amazingtunes.com profile.