BACHELOR – ” Doomin’ Sun ” Best Albums Of 2021

Posted: December 22, 2021 in MUSIC
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The indie rock superhero duo of the year, starring two of the sharpest songwriters in the game, Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner. The guitars slither in Elliott Smith/Mary Timony mode, while both women whisper and growl about twisted love in “Back of My Hand” and “Stay in the Car.” Best of all: “Sand Angel,” about dreaming about somebody you miss, then grinding your teeth all night, knowing you won’t fall back to sleep. Both songwriters know this emotional turf inside out, as in Palehound’s Black Friday or Jay Som’s Everybody Works. But together, they reach somewhere new.

“Back Of My Hand” was the final single from Bachelor (Jay Som & Palehound) The debut full-length ‘Doomin’ Sun’, came out May 28th on Polyvinyl Records, Lucky Number, and Milk! Records.

Bachelor, became the new project from Melina Duterte (Jay Som) and Ellen Kempner (Palehound), it is not a band, it’s a friend-ship. After being mutual fans for years, they finally met when sharing the bill at a show in Sacramento in 2017. Keeping in touch over text and Instagram posts, Duterte and Kempner started recording together for fun in 2018, resulting with what would become “Sand Angel”, the seductive slow-burner that convinced the pair to write an album together.

Reconvening in January 2020, the duo packed the entirety of Duterte’s recording equipment into two cars and headed to a rental house in Topanga, CA. In this space Kempner and Duterte hybridized their individual song-writing talents, producing a collection that slips between moods with ease and showcases their lyrical prowess. Arriving with almost no songs written and no solid plan, they finished the 10 songs that make up “Doomin’ Sun” after two short weeks. That much work in so little time may sound exhausting, but it wasn’t, it was blissful and freeing.

There was a lot of pain that went into the record, especially around themes of queerness and climate change inspired by the red skies and wildfires subsuming Australia at the time. However, when the duo did shed tears during the creative process, they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of laughter. When Kempner and Duterte look back on those weeks, what they remember first is shortness of breath and the inability to track vocal takes without falling to the floor howling. They couldn’t remember a time they’d ever been so delirious with creativity, so overwhelmed with joy.

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