Free Music Friday – Daughter and Death Songs
Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of Free Music Friday! We hope you survived this week and are still in one piece. Given the situation with the world economy, tanking stock markets and the like, it’s becoming harder all the time for many of us to maintain a healthy and positive outlook. But please always remember that music is the great healer. There is nothing more effective to shake the blues than a great song. And in times when a good cry is in order, the right track can bring it all straight to the surface. Part of what we do here at Project Rhythm Seed is to introduce you to artists and music that might, in some surprising and gratifying way, change your mood or your outlook for the better. One thing that raised our spirits this week was finding out that our “Sankofa Music Series – Joni Mitchell” piece had been added to Joni Mitchell’s personal website. We’re very honored.
So here is our week in review – On Monday we brought you a piece on blues guitarist Oz Noy. On Tuesday it was all about Uh Huh Her and the Keep A Breast tour. On Wednesday our own J. Brown brought you a critique of Laura Marling’s show at Hollywood Forever’s Masonic Temple. And on Thursday it was Myles Crawley’s interview with Eisley. Today we are pleased to present two great tracks from two new artists. The first one comes to us from the UK – singer/songwriter Daughter. The second track is from a Portland, Oregon band named Death Tracks.
Daughter is 21 year old Elena Tonra from North London, UK. The Wild Youth is Daughter’s second EP and follows on from the self-release of the His Young Heart debut EP in June 2011. The Wild Youth will be released on the 21st November, via Communion Records.
The delicate tangled roots of Daughter’s early demos, the His Young Heart EP and ‘Love‘ – the first fruits from her forthcoming new EP The Wild Youth – draw from a variety of songwriting sources; from Joni Mitchell and Natasha Khan right through to the XX, Bjork and Jonsi Birgisson.
Despite her tender years, Elena’s 2011 – and that of her guitarist boyfriend Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella – has so far seen her play shows in the UK with the likes of Cloud Control, Other Lives, Sharon Van Etten, Lia Ices, John Grant and Matthew & The Atlas, while she’s gently blown away her swelling army of new fans at Reading/ Leeds, Bestival, The Great Escape & Lounge on The Farm Festivals. We are pleased to offer Daughter’s track entitled “Love” off of The Wild Youth EP.
Death Songs is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Nick Delffs. “I called it Death Songs because there’s always that possibility that the next song I write might be my last,” he says, and you can hear the smile on his face. It’s not that he’s morbid – quite the opposite. Delffs sees his bands moniker, which might at first induce visions of dancing skeletons drumming tombstone rhythms in a cemetery, as more of a celebration. “Native American death songs celebrate the person’s life,” Delffs elaborates, “and that’s what I want to do with these songs as well.”
Spontaneity is also a large part of this humanity, and was an essential part of the Death Songs process. Delffs recorded the songs with his brother Nathan Delffs, with whom he was also in the band Shaky Hands. The two would get together to record music “at weird times when we had a quiet moment,” Nick says, and most of the songs came organically from these stolen moments of creativity.
Death Songs call up many traditions in their execution, from call and response reminiscent harmonies to American folk themes and African rhythms, while also always maintaining a unique style all their own. Delffs’ songwriting is both tender and heavy, invoking the simultaneous joy and sadness of being alive. “Life is sad sometimes, but it’s also happy sometimes,” Delffs says, “and the songs reflect both of those things-they’re human.” And now here is Death Songs’ track “Water in the Eyes of Man” off of their self-titled 10” EP.