Youth has long been a favourite song of mine, but it's the b-side Smoke that makes this single worth owning.
It’s only a recent obsession, but lately I’ve come to love 7” singles. In many ways they’re the perfect format: more real-estate for cover art that the fast-disapearing (one hopes) CD yet less unwieldy than a 10” or 12”, the aesthetic balance between label and bare vinyl is more pleasing than a larger record, and – most importantly – you’re presented with a highly selective few minutes of music that the very process of putting on the record forces you to pay close attention to. A blessed side effect of this high level of editorial discipline is that the b-side is rarely wasted on a useless remix; and often it’s the b-side that marks the single as something worth owning.
It’s a testament to how much enjoyment I gained from Daughter’s recent LP, If You Leave, that I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of their latest single, Youth. If You Leave is by far my favourite album of 2013 so far, and Youth is one of the best tracks on that great album. So why buy the song again? For the b-side, of course! The fact that early stand-out song Home didn’t make it onto Daughter’s debut LP shows the strength of the catalogue they have to draw from, and the b-side chosen to accompany Youth on this outing drives the point home even more. Smoke, the new track, would fit seamlessly onto If You Leave, both in terms of texture and aesthetic, and tone and lyrics. Crucially, it also holds its own when it comes to overall quality. Put simply, if you liked that you’ll love this.