by Kelley Lin
22-year-old Melina Duterte, also best known by her moniker, Jay Som, is releasing her second album, and it is full of youthful aspiration. Titled Everybody Works, the 10-track album can be immediately distinguished by its more polished, always endearing sound.
Duterte is never excluding. In fact, she is everything dreamy, all things punk, and dutifully rockin’ the folk genre. Even though tracks like “1 Billion Dogs” and “Take It” are reminiscent of perhaps like-minded garage rock females and past tour-mates, Mitski and Japanese Breakfast, many of Duterte’s songs often deliver like urgent, GarageBand inventions made for the frantically defeated.
But Jay Som has an easy time making misty imperfections sound all along purposeful. Just as “The Bus Song” is to your next road trip playlist, “Baybee” begs to be seen performed live. Track after track, Duterte shows mastery with her guitar-centric melodies, reminding us that differences don’t exist among people as she sings, “I’m a good kid / I swear I don’t lie / I’ll get a job / Turn into one lovely guy” in “Everybody Works.”
The album is a reversion back to childhood thoughtlessness from the perspective of a self-made artist. Duterte’s demos, which are as independently produced as they come, can fashion our simple difficulties into light-hearted and solemn funk.
Everybody Works comes out March 10 via Polyvinyl in North America or Double Denim in the EU, UK, and Japan. Be sure to check out her website to see if you can find Duterte at the nearest music festival. Otherwise, you can catch Jay Som on her co-headlining tour with The Drums and The Courtneys in major cities throughout the US and Canada.