Daya - À Découvert EP Review by Chris Waugh
Whilst British music congratulates itself for again managing to scrape together a list of nominees for Best Female at the Brit Awards - when only Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen were truly worthy - who should stealthily fly in under the UK's new music radar wearing her heart on her sleeve but Daya; the pseudonym of Belgian chanteuse Daphne Robberechts.
With graceful ease Daya challenges our usual aversion to anything foreign that's not from America by crafting beautiful, deceptively simple, story-in-songs without any pretence to irony or quirkiness.
Yes, the lyrics are in French, but the emotion that filters through is palpable enough to negate the need to consult your online Babel Fish.
Plus to your average monolingual Brit, Daya sounds every bit as gorgeous as she looks; her voice having a slight endearing rasp at the top of her range due perhaps to one-too-many Marlboro Lights.
A suitably fragile, 'Mes Yeux Rouges' ('My Red Eyes') makes every excuse under the sun for appearing to cry when she bumps into her ex and on title track 'À Découvert' ('Openly') Daya lays bare her feelings to her significant other, daring him to do the same, with enough longing to make you wish it was you.
The quieter, stripped-back moments, when her backing band become just that, is when Daya truly shines. On 'Juste Une Fille' (you can work that one out for yourselves) she ticks that final box marked 'sultry' and makes like Suzanne Vega with sex appeal.
The EU should pass a law making listening to this in GCSE French a mandatory part of the National Curriculum thus adding some much needed elegance to the syllabus.
So, just when as we were wondering from where a talented new female singer-songwriter would appear, Brussels sprouts.