Notes from the first time at a 'Daughter' concert

This is a collaborative piece. 
Pictures: Sohini Dutta
Text: Sohini's experience, as told to Vangmayi

Pick it up, pick it all up
And start again
You've got a second chance, you could go home...

It was in Delhi in 2013, when I first heard 'Medicine' play on the radio.

The slow, quiet piano chords and the moonbeam magic of lead singer Elena Tonra's voice had me in a somewhat of a trance.
The lyrics, haunting— speaking of addiction? depression? second chances? getting better? a coaxing into bouncing back? 
All very real. All very hopeful. 

 

 
  Each song is a snowflake: I urge you, listen to it on a cool night, with nothing but one warm light in your room. Tell me the effect is anything different.

Each song is a snowflake: I urge you, listen to it on a cool night, with nothing but one warm light in your room. Tell me the effect is anything different.

 

***

November 15, 2016 was the most surreal day of my life. I sang along like I had never before, but despite the crowds, it was one of the most mesmerising and intimate experiences ever. 

Especially when Elena sang 'Shallows', my favourite song. 

And then, with Elena's shy, barely audible 'thank you', and just as they'd appeared on stage, Daughter were gone. 

 

  My first 'Daughter' concert has etched itself into a black and white in my memory

My first 'Daughter' concert has etched itself into a black and white in my memory

 

In the years that followed, I slowly wormed my way through a collection of their songs, each one thick, yet as light as a snowflake caught on my tongue. They each melted, but not before making themselves an immersive experience for me to melt in. 

And then in 2016— after countless waves of change and new moon nights inside of myself, and after transplanting myself to the United States to study more about our nerves and the brain— I saw them live.
They were performing, for the first time, at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. 

  Elena Tonra, Luke Saunders; Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland; 15/11/16

Elena Tonra, Luke Saunders; Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland; 15/11/16

If you leave
When I go
Please don't find me
In the shallows
//
Lying on my back
With me
Watching stars collide

 

Sohini Dutta is a PhD student in Neuroscience. Known as "the paparazzi" by her friends, she's always trying to capture and document all the people, as well as the fleeting moments, of her life, in frame.