BEING THERE: Daughter @ Union Transfer


British trio Daughter packed the house at the Union Transfer Friday night, impressing an overflowing crowd with their moody swirling tales of lost love. The show was originally slated for the tiny First Unitarian Church but overwhelming demand for tickets resulted in it being relocated to a larger venue. Not bad for a band that reminisced on stage about their first U.S. show being in Philly and playing to just a handful of people a few years ago. Playing in black and red shadows and darkness, they kicked off their set with the long fragile album closer “Shallows.” The song is about sex or drowning or probably both, with singer Elena Tonra pleading for her lover to “come out to the sea and drown with me.” Which is fitting because, Daughter’s music is the sound of love slowly being suffocated. Tonra supplied her soft smoky voice and delicately cutting guitar while Igor Haefeli created textured waves of sound, slowly sawing on his Les Paul Jimmy Page style with a violin bow. Drummer Remi Aguilella created a frame for the bands atmospheric music with a simmering thunder of morse code drumbeats. Their set featured their older sparser material early on and built up to the more developed material of their excellent, just-released LP, If You Leave. The band was almost giddy at points reacting to the love and emotion that poured in from the crowd. The ultimate moment of connection arrived with “Landfill.” The song is an ode to being discarded by your lover but still feeling a deep unquenchable need for them. Tonra cooed “I want you so much, but I hate your guts” and the crowd sang along gently. There was no malice in the words but just a deep longing and a catharsis. The result was the whooshing sound of a thousand voices exhaling at once and expelling old ghosts. — PETE TROSHAK