22% of adults aged 84-89.

33% of adults over the age of 90.

Those are the growing statistics surrounding the word that invokes pause among the aging or those with aging loved ones: dementia.

Adding to the cruelty, daughters are 4% more likely to develop dementia (AKA Alzheimer’s Disease) than sons are.

It’s 2015 and Daughter are writing/recording what will be their new, highly-anticipated sophomore LP Not to Disappear. Upon its release (to relative critical acclaim,) one song seems to stand in solitude, both sonically and thematically: “Doing the Right Thing.”

Essentially a conversation within a conversation, “Doing the Right Thing” offers a gut-churning glimpse into the lonely, frail lucidity of the aging human mind over moaning, ambient guitar and ample floor toms.

Lyricist and vocalist Elena Tonra, echoing the cognitive peril of her grandmother, initially intended to pen a touching yet harrowing tribute to her grandmother. The writing process, however, found the tribute wind and warp its way into a meditation on the beautiful but cold indifference of the cycle of life, opening with:

And they’re making children
And they’re making love
With their old excuses
We are built for reproduction

While we await some philosophical or scientific breakthrough that might afford insight into the meaning of life, one cannot dismiss the biological simplicity of Tonra’s claims. We are built for reproduction. Seemingly, the “purpose” of humanity is to be born/reproduce/repeat.

We are also, unfortunately, built to recognize our own steadily creeping mortality and the slow, seamless degradation of life that almost inevitably occurs in one form or another.

At the apex, “Doing the Right Thing” catapults the listener from the musings of life cycles, directly into the first-person narrative of the elder, who lies blissfully unknowing of their cognitive deterioration, as Tondra – in a feat of vulnerable fortitude – bleeds:

When it’s dark, I’ll call out in the night for my mother
But she isn’t coming back for me
‘Cause she’s already gone

But you will not tell me that
‘Cause you know it hurts me every time you say it

And you know you are doing the right thing

Landing like a boulder dropped from the heavens, one could argue that this brief but poignantly climactic moment might rival any neurologist’s attempt to explain cognitive degradation.

If Daughter’s intention was to illuminate the thoughts, emotions, and daily life of the average western elderly person, they have undeniably and masterfully done the right thing.