Jay Som

Harlow's and Abstract Entertainment Present

Jay Som


Wed, October 18, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Harlow's Restaurant and Nightclub

Sacramento, CA

$13 pre sale - $15 day of show

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

Jay Som
Jay Som
On her first proper album as Jay Som, Melina Duterte, 22, solidifies her rep as a selfmade
force of sonic splendor and emotional might. If last year’s aptly named Turn
Into compilation showcased a fuzz-loving artist in flux—chronicling her mission to
master bedroom recording—then the rising Oakland star’s latest, Everybody Works, is the LP equivalent of mission accomplished.
Duterte is as DIY as ever—writing, recording, playing, and producing every sound
beyond a few backing vocals—but she takes us places we never could have
imagined, wedding lo-fi rock to hi-fi home orchestration, and weaving evocative
autobiographical poetry into energetic punk, electrified folk, and dreamy alt-funk.
And while Duterte’s early stuff found her bucking against life’s lows, Everybody
Works is about turning that angst into fuel for forging ahead. “Last time I was angry
at the world,” she says. “This is a note to myself: everybody’s trying their best on
their own set of problems and goals. We’re all working for something.”
Everybody Works was made in three furious, caffeinated weeks in October. She
came home from the road, moved into a new apartment, set up her bedroom studio
(with room for a bed this time) and dove in. Duterte even ditched most of her
demos, writing half the LP on the spot and making lushly composed pieces like
“Lipstick Stains” all the more impressive. While the guitar-grinding Jay Som we
first fell in love with still reigns on shoegazey shredders like “1 Billion Dogs” and in
the melodic distortions of “Take It,” we also get the sublimely spacious synth-pop
beauty of “Remain,” and the luxe, proggy funk of “One More Time, Please.”
Duterte’s production approach was inspired by the complexity of Tame Impala, the
simplicity of Yo La Tengo, and the messiness of Pixies. “Also, I was listening to a lot
of Carly Rae Jepsen to be quite honest,” she says. “Her E•MO•TION album actually
inspired a lot of the sounds on Everybody Works.”
There’s story in the sounds—even in the fact that Duterte’s voice is more present than
before. As for the lyrics, our host leaves the meaning to us. So if we can interpret,
there’s a bit about the aspirational and fleeting nature of love in the opener, and the
oddity of turning your art into job on the titular track. There’s even one tune, “The
Bus Song,” that seems to be written as a dialog between two kids, although it plays
like vintage Broken Social Scene and likely has more to do with yearning for things
out of reach.
While there’s no obvious politics here, Duterte says witnessing the challenges facing
women, people of color, and the queer community lit a fire. And when you reach the
end of Everybody Works, “For Light,” you’ll find a mantra suitable for anyone trying,
as Duterte says, “to find your peace even it it’s not perfect.” As her trusty trumpet
blows, she sings: “I’ll be right on time, open blinds for light, won’t forget to climb.”
Venue Information:
Harlow's Restaurant and Nightclub
2708 "J" Street
Sacramento, CA, 95816