If 2013 finds guitar music in a parlous state, it might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that a band whose debut album recalls Coldplay’s stadium splendour is the group to rekindle the fire. But if there was ever a record to remind the music-listening public that songs of the epic and soaring variety aren’t all meaningless irritations written purely to soundtrack the next Volkswagen ad, then ‘If You Leave’ might be it. Because while Daughter’s debut is undeniably a grand record, full of shimmering guitars, pounding drums and the kind of exquisitely melancholic melodies so often prone to lyrical claptrap, it’s also a brutal, quietly poetic affair, unafraid of confrontation. Across its ten tracks, amongst more typical subjects of heartbreak and isolation, are songs that allude to sexual assault (‘Human’) and abortion (‘Lifeforms’), and arrangements that aren’t afraid to cut down a song’s towering peak in its prime in order to thrust singer Elena Tonra’s bare, beautiful vocals into thrillingly stark isolation. Indeed, it’s a record whose size suits the songs rather than the venues in which it hopes they’ll be performed. The last record to offer a similar combination of majestically desperate songs and almost bruising intimacy so well was ‘The Bends’. While Radiohead’s subsequent relationship with guitar music is well documented, on present evidence Daughter are picking up the reins.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in this month’s Loud And Quiet

More from