Album Review: Daya – ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’

In the music industry, there’s a difference between hype and excitement. Hype is guaranteed by the press but without excitement, all of that publicity might as well be for nothing. For pop songstress, Daya, the excitement has always been there from the very beginning.

After a whirlwind year, the time has come for the soon-to-be 18 year-old’s debut album, Sit Still, Look Pretty, to be unleashed unto the world. It’s been a rather eventful wait – from the release of her self-titled EP in September 2015, spawning the hits “Hide Away” and current jam, “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” to the chart-topping collaboration with electronic duo, The Chainsmokers in “Don’t Let Me Down,” there seems to be no stopping this girl any time soon.

From rolled down car windows on city streets to backyard BBQs to department stores to bowling alleys, “Don’t Let Me Down” might as well be awarded Song of 2016 as there was no escaping it – not that we’d want to – paving the way for her debut to shine,  and with a record like this, the future seems bright for the singer.

There’s no shortage of impeccably-crafted pop hooks with a hint of sass and ambition thrown into every track, and with opener, “Dare,” fans will be rolling down windows of their own, reciting every word within no time. That notion continues throughout “Legendary” and epic breakup anthem, “I.C.Y.M.I.” In case you missed it, ladies are in charge – title track, “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” being the prime example. Unfortunately, it’s easy for women, especially in the music industry, to be pigeonholed into one thing, but with this song burning up Top 40 at the moment, the tables are starting to finally turn!

EP favorites “Thirsty,” “U12” and ballad, “Back To Me” are given a new life coupled with the newer tracks but there’s no mistaking album highlight, “Cool,” as the beat takes over your headspace and you’re thrown into the story of the couple in the song. Pop gems “Got The Feeling” and “Love Of My Life” are quite reminiscent of MAGIC!’s “Rude” – the latter laced with an underlying message of never settling when it comes to love.

“Talk” comes barreling in with a strong punch – anthemic as it is empowering – while “Words” leaves a haunting Banks meets Bieber (believe it or not) feel in the air, making us curious as to what the next album may entail, despite it being way too soon to tell.

Closing out the album with “We Are,” it’s pretty clear that Daya is on her way to being a household name, making her presence in the music world, like fellow artist Alessia Cara, so important. With hypersexualization running rampant, especially in pop music, it’s quite refreshing to see young women carry themselves with class and dignity as they redefine the term ‘girl power’ while actually demonstrating it for a younger, impressionable audience. It’s about damn time!

Sit Still, Look Pretty is available now here.