10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 22, indie-pop auteur Melina Duterte, a.k.a. Jay Som, sounds like she’s been at it for decades. Her second album, Everybody Works, sticks close to the early ‘90s underground playbook—big hooks, dreamy textures—without ever sounding stale, breathing new life into Yo La Tengo–style fuzz pop (“1 Billion Dogs”) and My Bloody Valentine lullabies (“(BedHead)”). The secret turns out to be Duterte’s songs, which are by turns passionate but resigned, forthright but vulnerable, beautiful but distinctly bittersweet.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 22, indie-pop auteur Melina Duterte, a.k.a. Jay Som, sounds like she’s been at it for decades. Her second album, Everybody Works, sticks close to the early ‘90s underground playbook—big hooks, dreamy textures—without ever sounding stale, breathing new life into Yo La Tengo–style fuzz pop (“1 Billion Dogs”) and My Bloody Valentine lullabies (“(BedHead)”). The secret turns out to be Duterte’s songs, which are by turns passionate but resigned, forthright but vulnerable, beautiful but distinctly bittersweet.

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1:51
3:36
2:19
2:44
3:42
3:45
3:25
3:19
3:28
7:22

About Jay Som

Jay Som is the performance pseudonym of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte. The California Bay Area native creates lush, melodic bedroom pop remindful of contemporaries like Alex G and Long Beard. She began writing and sharing music on MySpace while in middle school, cycling through various monikers over time until she eventually settled on the name Jay Som. It was created with the Wu-Tang Names Generator (the same website that turned Donald Glover into Childish Gambino). Duterte posted a series of singles under the name to music-sharing site Bandcamp in the early 2010s before releasing "a collection of finished and unfinished songs" called Turn Into, which was co-released on cassette by Wave Dweller and Topshelf Records. Jay Som was soon signed to Polyvinyl, which reissued the set in July 2016 as she began work on an official debut. In the meantime, she toured the U.S. and Canada in support of indie artists such as Mitski and Peter Bjorn and John. Duterte released her official debut, Everybody Works, in 2017, and while it made for a more polished companion to Turn Into, it retained its bedroom charm. ~ Marcy Donelson

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