Any regular Spotify user will tell you that the service’s album recommendations range from curious to wildly inaccurate (though to their credit, the new features like following friends and activity bar do positively aid discovery and sociality). It wouldn’t surprise much of anyone—this writer included—if those recommendations were some sort of paid advertising or backroom deal between the service and the major labels, labels which have invested rather heavily in Spotify.
HOWEVER, occasionally Spotify will make a great recommendation and that’s when the service’s power is fully realized, as if they’re saying, “Here. In addition to having just about any album or band you’d ever want to hear available for streaming, here’s a new band you haven’t heard that we think you’ll enjoy. We’re smart, and we think we know what you’ll like and dislike based on your listening habits.”
Daughter’s debut album If You Leave was one of those recommended albums, and it’s one that’s been in constant rotation for the past couple of weeks. The London-based trio play a brand of hushed indie with folky tendencies that initially paints an austere picture, before beginning to reveal their density as the songs unravel. This sort of washed out, shoegaze-influenced, dark, tortured indie-pop may not be stereotypical spring music—it’s too immersive and bleak for that—but Daughter’s take on it is loaded with character. This track, “Lifeforms,” contains the best use of a slow build you’ll hear all year.