Oakland-based artist Jay Som (Melina Duterte) released her excellent debut album today. It’s a true DIY effort, created in just three weeks with Duterte responsible for playing all the instruments as well as the writing, recording, and producing. Her ability to blend a variety of unique sounds and styles to form a cohesive album is really impressive, and the album is bound to have music nerds geeking out over subtle nods to its many influences. Tracks like “Take It,” and “1 Billion Dogs,” are cathartic 90s-inspired fuzz pop anthems, while the dreamy funk of “Baybee,” will catch the attention of people longing for the shimmery haze of Fleetwood Mac’s Tango in the Night. One track in particular, “One More Time Please,” does an amazing job of blending Duterte’s range of influences, simultaneously incorporating the whispery R&B of Blood Orange’s Cupid Delux with the dark, resonant piano that’s featured on so much of The Microphones’ The Glow Pt. 2.
The range of sounds and the raw honesty of the lyrics makes Everybody Works an album with universal appeal. Indeed it seems that Duterte is trying to reach out and bring people together, and as we all know the world could sure use some more of that right now. As 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.”
Listen to one of the standout tracks “The Bus Song” below: