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There was a peculiar inconsistency to the first Daughter record. On the face of it, it seemed a relatively straightforward affair; Elena Tonra seldom minced her words nor strove too hard to shroud themes of heartbreak and loneliness in overly esoteric metaphor. You couldn't really have accused the trio, either, of failing to wear the influences on their sleeves, with a pretty simple equation the album's bedrock - sweeping drama by way of shimmering guitars.

The effectiveness of that approach, though, fluctuated wildly on If You Leave. Tonra's stark lyrical manner could disarm with beautiful brutality one minute and read like ham-fisted A-level poetry the next. The sharp focus on evoking emotional response with reverb and galloping percussion either drew vitality from its precision or wilted under the lack of invention. The high points were intoxicating and the troughs uninspiring. The intention was clear, and the potential obvious, but the execution less ranged from spectacular to slapdash than snapped back and forth between the two.

Nevertheless, the record's success positioned Daughter nicely for the follow-up. They began as Tonra's project and hers alone and, on Not to Disappear, she remains the band's beating heart. Her insecurities formed the basis of If You Leave, and she took them on openly and with mixed results. This time around, she seems imbued with a new confidence - she sounds steelier in words and voice, and has made real forays into new territory. 'Doing the Right Thing', inspired by her grandmother's battle with dementia, casts a sharp eye over the minutiae of sad, slow decline, delivering a gut-punch worthy of The Antlers' Hospice. Over a stuttering beat and lonely synth line on 'Mothers', she delves into the bittersweet nature of motherhood with nuance and empathy, channeling the swell of the heart as well as the sting. When she turns back down paths she's already trodden, she largely does so with the wisdom and poise of an old hand - resignation on 'How', resolution on 'New Ways'. There's still room for the occasional clanger - 'Alone / Without You' leads the way with "I hate living with you / I should get a dog, or something" - but on the whole, Tonra's progression is unmistakable and, in places, startling.

Daughter fell into the trap of throwing the kitchen sink at inopportune moments on If You Leave, and seem to have learned the lesson that the crescendos work better if you earn them. 'New Ways', in opening the record, simmers slowly to its tumultuous climax, with Tonra's uneasy, lilting vocal the clincher. 'Fossa' indulges their fondness for the loud-quiet-loud dynamic with a new-found subtlety, shifting carefully through the gears rather than veering between them. The more ambitious moments don't jar, either - 'Alone / With You' cleverly shoots for late-night atmospherics with layered loops, while the pairing of Tonra's fierce self-deprecation with breakneck percussion on 'No Care' is a standout.

There's precisely zero shame in sounding tentative and overly reliant on your influences on your first LP; there's plenty of credit, though, in following it up with a second effort that burns with quiet flair. Daughter - and Tonra in particular - have elegantly lowered their defences with Not to Disappear. Emotional literacy and gripping theatricality lie behind the wall.

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