Jay Som: Anak Ko (Polyvinyl) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, October 19th, 2019  

Jay Som

Anak Ko

Polyvinyl

Aug 21, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The growth of Melina Duterte has been both exponential and unsurprising. After releasing a collection of demos onto Bandcamp in 2015 (with a subsequent re-release of those songs becoming 2016's Turn Into), the artist known as Jay Som dropped her debut LP, 2017's Everybody Works, to critical acclaim. Call it dream pop, bedroom pop, shoegaze, etc., but Everybody Works was the perfect showcase for an artist with an unmistakable ability to beautifully cram her innermost thoughts and emotions into a multihued landscape of sound. After moving from the Bay Area to Los Angeles in 2017, Duterte embarked on her next set of intimate musings, culminating in her sophomore full-length, Anak Ko.

As a lyricist, Duterte has stayed refreshingly sincere. On "Devotion" she finds herself reckoning with a great shift, saying "I changed my mind/Well, look no further/Just takes some time/To come back down to earth." Duterte is remarkably gifted at allowing space for her audience to fully immerse themselves in her innermost emotions, creating openings in her words for us to live in. Album single "Tenderness" sees Duterte finding a connection in a world that continues to pull us apart, singing "Show me/Before you haunt me on the screen/Will my affections pull the strings?/Another forgotten memory."

Anak Ko is Melina Duterte's most musically diverse record to date. With help from Vagabond's Laetitia Tamko, Justus Proffit, and others, the record swirls and bends to new heights. Opening track "If You Want It" would not be out of place on The Head on the Door or other early '80s records by The Cure, with bass and guitar slinking sexily under Duterte's words. "Superbike" sounds like an early '90s anthem, with the refrain of "Somebody tell me" begging to be shouted along. Anak Ko is a record from an artist whose artistic voice sounds polished and refined, and whose continued growth and greatness will be a joy to witness. (www.jaysommusic.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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