5 out of 5 stars
Last week, after being off the music map for almost five years, Zella Day finally quenched our thirst with the release of “You Sexy Thing.” Her cover of the 1975 hit, originally by British group Hot Chocolate, is a soul-lifting and timeless piece of music that I would argue overshadows the original and its previous covers.
Some fans were disappointed that the first song Day released after years of silence was a cover, but she has a lot in store.
Prior to the release of the song and video, Day tweeted, “My heart is jumping out of my chest. This song was made in celebration of this new chapter in my career as an artist & as a woman. ‘You Sexy Thing’ is exactly how I want to break the ice in preparation for new music.”
Style-wise, the cover differs greatly from Day’s previous music, which makes me curious to see what direction she will take in her new work. The way her version of the song was recorded almost feels like you’re listening to it in a house party from the other room. Her vocals are clear and full of emotion, although they sound slightly far away, creating an unusual, out-of-body listening experience.
What makes Day’s rendition even more powerful is the music video she released to accompany the song. Shot in one effortless and fluid take, Day dances freely through a beautiful house. The video begins with her singing to herself in the mirror, with her hair wrapped up in a towel and her face natural with a just out of the shower look. Despite the lyrics suggesting the subject of the song is a lover, Day projects self-love in every movement she makes. Placing a joint in between her lips and lighting it, Day lets down her hair and twirls out of her bathroom into the doorway where she does a pull-up.
I love the way her energy builds in unison with the building music, as she loses her towel for some comfortable home-alone-so-I’m-wearing-the-bare-minimum clothes. She shows off her unshaved armpit hair and her strength, doing some extra bicep-curls in the next room she enters.
The video is a piece devoted to what makes Day feel like a sexy woman: singing and dancing around her house, getting high and exercising. By the end of the clip, she’s overcome with emotion, exerting energy in sporadic but beat-driven movements, until the last note is played and she’s left laughing on the rug in the living room.
“You Sexy Thing” has sparked excitement across Day’s fan base.
“All of the love and support for ‘You Sexy Thing’ has been so encouraging after a long hiatus,” Day said. “I want to say thank you to everyone who has given energy to the release by listening to the song, watching the video and commenting on the photos. It has been a beautiful reminder of the relationship that exists between you and I through music. I have so much gratitude. We are just getting started.”
Giving herself time to grow as a woman and an artist has clearly paid off, and I can’t wait to see where Day goes from here.