Daya

Sit Still, Look Pretty

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Daya's debut LP, Sit Still, Look Pretty, offers a fun and youthful alternative to the smokier shades of the post-Lorde alt-pop landscape. The young Pittsburgh singer -- a teenager at the time of release -- exudes confidence, positivity, and a refreshing purity that turns a back to the too-cool-for-school attitude of some peers who are too eager to grow up. While the atmospherics are lush and the vibe is chilled out, bubbling underneath it all is an ebullient energy that helps elevate the album to the strata occupied by relatable contemporaries like Alessia Cara and Troye Sivan. The two hit singles -- "Hide Away" and "Sit Still, Look Pretty" -- from her self-titled EP are included here, the philosophical anchors of the album. On the former, Daya rallies for the good boys and the girls who appreciate them, while the latter is a cheeky kiss-off to society's demands on young women. It's an empowering anthem for those who are still too young to embrace Beyoncé's brand of girl power. Buoyed by the strength of those first two singles -- which retain all their infectious goodness in this expanded track list -- Sit Still, Look Pretty is a strong first outing with enough high points to warrant attention. The playful "Thirsty" combines a "Hollaback Girl"-meets-"Hey Mickey" chant with a bouncy Kelly Clarkson bassline, while "I.C.Y.M.I." and "Talk" utilize hip-hop beats with catchy singalong choruses (the latter even kicks off with a near-identical riff on the intro to Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot"). Honing in on contemporary production trends, "Words" and "We Are" sound like tropical-influenced relatives of something from Justin Bieber's Purpose or Sia's "Cheap Thrills." Amidst the immediate poppy gems is the powerful ballad, "Back to Me." On this weeper, Daya shows her full range and vocal prowess, as well as some vulnerability. After an album's worth of pep, this piano confessional hints at much more depth for the singer. Overall, Daya's Sit Still, Look Pretty is a self-assured statement from a genuine voice taking her time navigating through life.

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