Daughter began as a solo project for vocalist Elena Tonra. She met guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London in 2010; this meeting transformed the solo project into an indie folk trio.
Daughter self-released three EPs before 4AD signed the group for its first full-length album. The group released Demos in 2010 which brought the group word-of-mouth exposure. His Young Heart was released in April of 2011 with The Wild Youth released six months later through the artist-led label Communion Records. The Wild Youth gained attention from the British website For Folk's Sake and the trio went on to perform a Maida Vale Session for DJ Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1.
After headlining a 700-capacity show at Assembly Hall in North London, Daughter signed a contracted with 4AD. The first single, "Smother," enjoyed airtime from BBC Radio 1 and 6Music. It was named single of the week by Huw Stephens. Their debut album, If You Leave, was released in Europe in March 2013 and North America in May 2013. The album peaked at number 16 in the UK and received wide acclaim from music critics and the press. One of the songs off the album, Youth, was used in Tour de France advertisment on UKTV, a commercial for Norwegian airline Wideroe, and in the US television show "Mistresses."