Double Denim Records – March 10th
With Everybody Works, Jay Som has arrived. The multi-talented San Francisco Bay Area-based artist – real name Melina Duterte – began making a name for herself last year, releasing an attention-demanding, DIY collection of songs that lead seamlessly and, thanks to impressive self-reliance, fittingly to live dates with the likes of Mitski and Japanese Breakfast.
This lo-fi-leaning indie genre, in which the aforementioned two sit so comfortably, is enjoying something of a purple patch and Everybody Works proves the 22-year-old is wholly at home amongst these growing ranks.
From the slow-burning beauty of ‘Remain’, with melancholy shades of The Cranberries and even a “pinky promise” nod to Mitski, to the slow-jam, funk-kissed hue of ‘Baybee’, the album touches on an impressive array of timbres – ‘1 Billion Dogs’ is a moment of revved-up punk – and keeps the listener effortlessly on their toes.
Duterte’s knack for the uneasy and thought-provoking – the almost Elliott Smith-esque ‘BedHead’ and ‘Take It’ – shines through, and yet Everybody Works is genuinely catchy. Perhaps it doesn’t infiltrate the subconscious with the same grip as its Carly Rae Jepsen influence, but cuts like ‘Bus Song’ do lodge between the ears with impressive persistence. “Take time to figure it out / I’ll be the one who sticks around”, she calls in the wonderfully chatty, euphoric trumpet-clad highlight; sticks around she does.
Everybody Works, Jay Som just works better than most.