Before I write anything else, I feel the need to comment on the fact that it’s the THIRTY-FIRST OF AUGUST. How. How did this happen? How the frickety frick is it September tomorrow? This year has been utterly crazy, right from the stroke of midnight in my friend’s living room – soon to be mine! – drunk as a skunk, having one of the best nights in history with some of my best friends and the ex-love-of-my-life. It involved activities such as: cleaning up puke (not mine); having one of those girly bonding moments where there are five of you in the bathroom, all taking it in turns to pee because you can’t possibly stop talking in order to make it an independent operation; reading Paradise Lost alone in an empty room for a good while until I was hunted down (at a party! told you I was cool); deciding that moustache plasters were the way forward and therefore plastering them on everyone in sight; trying to wear ALL THE HATS; having numerous things stuffed down my cleavage, including a drink, and drinking from it while it was down there, furthering and cementing my reputation as a breast exhibitionist (breastibitionist?); four-way spooning in a bed with some of the aforementioned friends, analysing which spoons we were; epic chatting, as usual, with my twin fast-and-long conversationalist; and hugging a robot in Burger King at 6am. If my year doesn’t end in a similar way to its inauguration I will be very disappointed. I don’t know how it can, really, due to most of the participating revellers having moved away, and of course my new status as a single lady, but I hope it will still be brilliant. I have had an amazing year and it should be book-ended appropriately. And I need my friends more than ever so I hope that they will be there to propel me into 2013 with their hugs, unwavering loyalty, love, and plenty of vodka. Obviously vodka. And hopefully no sick.
Anyway, following on from that exercise in reminiscence is my song for today. This summer, two of the friends that I partied so well with on NYE joined me at a festival called Secret Garden Party. It’s a music festival but at the time I wasn’t that excited about the music, I was more excited about being with my friends, dressing up and having a brilliant time. I did all of those things but also really ended up enjoying the music (of course), especially this band, Daughter, who were probably my musical highlight of the festival. I only say probably because I saw Orbital immediately after witnessing one of the most astounding and awe-inspiring fireworks displays that I’ve ever seen, and they were brilliant too, so as an experience it’s probably not going to be topped. Daughter are possibly the best band that I’ve seen this year though, and I saw loads, including the ridiculously camp and enjoyable of Montreal, and Explosions in the Sky, whose music feels like it forms part of my DNA. So it’s high praise here from me.
I haven’t been this excited – and fangirly – about a band for a long time. Elena Tonra, the singer, has a beautiful, haunting voice that manages to cut deep, straight into that well of misery and pain and longing and hope and love and all those other emotions that you thought you’d cleverly hidden under layers of denial and self-protection. Or maybe that’s just me (probably just me). As she sings, her words blow through all of your shoddily erected defences like the Big Bad Wolf blowing the house down. Her voice is the highlight of the songs, no mean feat when the music itself is almost equally stunning. It’s like in America’s Next Top Model, when the judges wax lyrical about “the eyes” and how if you’re not really feeling it then it won’t communicate with the audience properly, or something along those lines. Elena has the ability to encapsulate the emotions of the song, whether it’s through a waver or a whisper. Maybe because she wrote it and is therefore feeling it, or has felt it. Either way I don’t care, because it’s marvellous. I am in love. Hopefully I will see them play in January, with the friends who shared the last Daughter experience at Secret Garden Party. Unfortunately there is a distinct possibility that this time it won’t involve lying down in a haze of sunshine and vodka, wearing a wedding dress and felted headwear with antlers. Just a hunch.
This isn’t even my favourite song of theirs (that accolade goes to Youth, which is immense, and which will probably pop up here soon anyway because I am obsessed with it). But it’s special to me and I’m feeling it today. From the first plucks of the guitar to her last, extremely faint “oooh”, she has me there with her, hook, line and sinker.
“Just a young heart confusing my mind, but we’re both in silence, wide-eyed, like we’re in a crime scene.”