With her debut album proper, Melina Duterte announces herself as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer of incredible diversity and talent
Last year’s Turn Into, a collection of early songs from San Francisco Bay Area songwriter Melina Duterte aka Jay Som, gave strong indications that this was a burgeoning career worth paying attention to. She now returns with her debut proper and it is already a giant stride forward for the 22-year-old. Recorded at home over three weeks, it’s immediately obvious that Jay Som’s creativity has flourished within the confines of her bedroom studio.
Starting with the sparse vocal-stretching of Lipstick Stains, it’s not long before Everybody Works breaks out into a plethora of directions. The Bus Song has a lo-fi indie aesthetic to it whereas Remain is Fleetwood Mac amid a deep dream. There are also some delightful out and out pop grooves here too, with One More Time, Please and Baybee standing out in particular.
What’s perhaps most striking is the strength of Jay Som’s production, seemingly able to balance multiple genres with equal aplomb whilst still holding everything together. That the garage pop of 1 Billion Dogs can sit so comfortably on the same album as the hypnotic For Light speak volumes for her strengths as a writer and an arranger. To listen to Everybody Works is to discover a serious new talent.
Verdict: A creative explosion