Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Daya – Sit Still, Look Pretty

Strangely enough we’re not so on board with a song that seems to reference both Beyonce and Aqua.


Alfred Soto: Pretty hurts. So do whistle solos.

Edward Okulicz: In placing herself as The Substantial in opposition to an Other, Daya comes across as self-absorbed and she doesn’t even have the hook to excuse it. The whistling doesn’t count as the hook, but it does count as an additional charge on her rap sheet. This is a stupid song with nothing to say that thinks it does and has more ideas above its station than Lily Allen does.

Cassy Gress: For all her talk of being the HBIC and ruling the world, the song as a whole doesn’t sound dominant; it just sounds matte and laidback. The whistle motif, which evokes both catcalls and cuckoo birds, doesn’t really help. Not entirely thrilled with the “I’m not like those girls” implications in the first verse, either.

Will Adams: Not to be confused with The Wreckers’ quiet ode to the isolation of fame, “Sit Still, Look Pretty” finds Daya still clenching her strawmen and claiming to seemingly no one in particular that she’s not that kind of girl and not part of that world, painting the other in the broadest strokes possible. Also, the production on “Hide Away” was awful, but at least it didn’t have whistling.

Iain Mew: If you’re going to lyrically hint towards “Barbie Girl,” why not go the whole way? At least interpolating it would bring a better hook than the whistling, and might be a starting point to get away from sounding like a Melanie Martinez song with the staidness of social commentary and music alike dialled up several levels.

Patrick St. Michel: Wish the whistles and ice-cream-truck synths could sound pretty, though, and not so snoozy. Especially considering this song references two other numbers touching on basically the same points but actually sound good.

Brad Shoup: I’m mostly happy that we’re establishing a proper Aqua Cinematic Universe.

Katherine St Asaph: At EMP last month one of the highlights was someone from Girls Rock Camp interviewing a lot of girls, ages 8 to 11 or so, on pop music and the lure thereof. It was so fascinating, for multiple reasons. One, how deeply internalized pop music is in the tweenage mind as a vector for getting caught up in sex, drugs, partying and other habits of those other girls, even if those exact concepts don’t come to mind; it’s so internalized it’s visceral, like the idea of sin (and for large swaths of the country, pop and sin are so intertwined they’re almost synonymous. For the more progressive swaths, substitute passivity for sin.) Two, how once again we applaud teenage girls when their tastes intersect with our memes but scorn when they make music like “Sit Still, Look Pretty”: by teenage girls for teenage girls who don’t exude 18-24 market cool. Three, this didactic Dariacore itself appeals to a huge, only sporadically targeted market; it had pop-rock guitars in 2001 and alt-pop synths in 2016, but is the same. And four, that the devil still has the best pop tunes. You know where you hear the Adult Hits and Radio Disney formats “Sit Still, Look Pretty” is laser-cut for? The homes of trophy wives.

Claire Biddles: I’m only giving her a point for the admission that she is pretty.

Reader average: [3.66] (3 votes)

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