Bree’s Melancholic Tales: An Analysis of “Lifeforms” by Daughter

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Daughter emerged onto the music scene in 2013 with their breakout album If You Leave, rendering first-time listeners and fans across the world in a state of pure despair but wanting more. Elena Tonra, the main vocalist of Daughter, wields a voice that is both soothing and haunting. Combined with the atmospheric waves of guitar strings and drums, and Tonra’s impressive ability to bring images to life through her lyrics, If You Leave in itself is a depressive force to be reckoned with.

With this in mind, it was very difficult to choose one song I considered to be especially disheartening. But finally, I settled on the song “Lifeforms,” because of the somber imagery and message Tonra brings to her audience’s attention.

“Lifeforms”

“From the beginning
Small lifeforms
They can kill without warning
So you don’t explode”

Immediately we are introduced to the idea of “small lifeforms” followed by a powerful recognition from the narrator that these small lifeforms can kill. In succession with the last line, however, I feel that the small lifeforms can actually both kill and be killed. This gave me the strong assumption that the song is referring to fetuses as the small lifeforms. An unborn child can really alter a woman’s life if its conception is unplanned. A woman could perhaps experience complications during birth that may endanger her life. An unborn child’s life can also be terminated through abortion at an early stage, so that the woman doesn’t “explode,” or show signs of pregnancy.

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