Posts Tagged ‘Anak Ko’

Jay Som mastermind Melina Duterte stars in the Han Hale-directed video as a weary traveling musician (a role she is well-equipped to play!) who, asleep in her band’s touring van, dreams she’s the leader of a group of suit-clad special agents on their way to investigate a mysterious, crop circle-esque pattern that has appeared in the wilderness. “Shifting through the nighttime drive / We’ll be just fine,” Duterte sings, her breathy vocals evoking the blurry state of being in between—sleep and waking, one city and another, late night and early morning—over gauzy guitars, playful bass plucks, and judiciously deployed piano and strings. Meanwhile, the video dives deeper and deeper into her imagination, ultimately uncovering the supernatural truth at the heart of the mystery.

Melina Duterte says that her single as Jay Som, “Nighttime Drive,” “basically encapsulated my entire life for the past two years.” It’s the latest slice of mellow dream pop from her sophomore album, Anak Ko, that came out August .

“Nighttime Drive” is taken from Jay Som’s new album, Anak Ko, out August 2019.

Melina Duterte aka Jay Som, photo by <a href="http://www.lissyelle.com/">Lissy Laricchia</a> for <a href="https://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/jay-som-joy-ride-anak-ko-music">INTERVIEW MAGAZINE</a>

Jay Som has announced the new 7″ single, “A Thousand Words” b/w “Can’t Sleep.” Both songs are from the sessions for her 2019 LP “Anak Ko”. The physical 7″ is out May 1st via Polyvinyl Records.

(aka Melina Duterte) released a new album, Anak Ko, last year via Polyvinyl Records. On Thursday she shared two new songs, “A Thousand Words” and “Can’t Sleep,” that were recorded during the sessions for Anak Ko but didn’t make the final tracklist. They will be released as two sides of a 7-inch single on May 1st via Polyvinyl. the quirky “Can’t Sleep” is definite B-side.

Duterte had this to say about “A Thousand Words” in a press release: “This song was made after a year of extensive touring plus a cancelled tour. I forced myself to make a sort of big and jovial song to bring me out of the funk I was in. I also wanted to remind myself that music can be fun! It was heavily inspired by Bruce Springsteen, Elliott Smith, Pavement and that song ‘Alright’ by Supergrass.”

Of “Can’t Sleep” she had this to say: “‘Can’t Sleep’ was made in August or September 2017 while I was living with my parents in between U.S. tours, before I moved to LA. I think I had all my gear packed away somewhere that I couldn’t access, so I used instruments left over in my childhood room: a broken acoustic guitar, chopsticks on a snare drum, a bad hi hat, and my trumpet. Everything was recorded through the laptop mic. I was pretty frustrated with the California heat and the fact that I couldn’t record properly, so this sort of fever dream song was born.”

Anak Ko will be Jay Som’s second full-length; she released her debut Everybody Works in 2017. In October 2019, she postponed her European Anak Ko tour, citing mental health concerns. Those dates have since been rescheduled for Spring 2020.

Melina Duterte is a master of voice: Hers are dream pop songs that hint at a universe of her own creation. Recording as Jay Som since 2015, Duterte’s world of shy, swirling intimacies always contains a disarming ease, a sky-bent sparkle and a grounding indie-rock humility. In an era of burnout, the title track of her 2017 breakout, Everybody Works, remains a balm and an anthem.

Duterte’s life became a whirlwind in the wake of Everybody Works. After spending her teen years and early 20s exploring an eclectic array of musical styles—studying jazz trumpet as a child, carrying on her Filipino family tradition of spirited karaoke, and quietly recording indie-pop songs in her bedroom alone—that accomplished album found her playing festivals around the world, sharing stages with the likes of Paramore, Death Cab for Cutie, and Mitski.

In November of 2017, seeking a new environment, Duterte left her home of the Bay Area for Los Angeles. There, she demoed new songs, while also embracing opportunities to do session work and produce, engineer, and mix for other artists (like Sasami, Chastity Belt). Reckoning with the relative instability of musicianhood, Duterte turned inward, tuning ever deeper into her own emotions and desires as a way of staying centered through huge changes. She found a community; she fell in love. And for an artist whose career began after releasing her earliest collection of demos—2015’s hazy but exquisitely crafted Turn Into—in a fit of drunken confidence on Thanksgiving night, she finally quit drinking for good. “I feel like a completely different person,” she reflects. Positivity was a way forward.

The striking clarity of her new music reflects that shift. After months of poring over pools of demos, Duterte, now 25, essentially started over. She wrote most of her brilliant new album, “Anak Ko”—pronounced Anuhk-Ko—in a burst during a self-imposed week-long solo retreat to Joshua Tree. As in the past, Duterte recorded at home (in some songs, you can hear the washer/dryer near her bedroom) and remained the sole producer, engineer, and mixer. But for the first time, she recruited friends—including Vagabon’s Laetitia Tamko, Chastity Belt’s Annie Truscott, Justus Proffitt, Boy Scouts’ Taylor Vick, as well as bandmates Zachary Elasser, Oliver Pinnell and Dylan Allard—to contribute additional vocals, drums, guitars, strings, and pedal steel. Honing in on simplicity and groove, refining her skills as a producer, Duterte cracked her sound open subtly, highlighting its best parts: She’s bloomed.

Inspired by the lush, poppy sounds of 80s bands such as Prefab Sprout, the Cure, and Cocteau Twins—as well as the ecstatic guitarwork of contemporary Vancouver band Weed—Anak Ko sounds dazzlingly tactile, and firmly present. The result is a refreshingly precise sound. On the subtly explosive “Superbike,” Duterte aimed for the genius combination of “Cocteau Twins and Alanis Morissette”—“letting loose,” she says, over swirling shoegaze. “Night Time Drive” is a restless road song, but one with a sense of contentedness and composure, which “basically encapsulated my entire life for the past two years,” she says—always moving, but “accepting it, being a little stronger from it.” (She sings, memorably, of “shoplifting at the Whole Foods.”) Duterte focused more on bass this time: “I just wanted to make a more groovy record,” she notes.

The slow-burning highlight “Tenderness” begins minimally, like a slightly muffled phone call, before flowering into a bright, jazzy earworm. Duterte calls it “a feel-good, funky, kind of sexy song” in part about “the curse of social media” and how it complicates relationships. “That’s definitely about scrolling on your phone and seeing a person and it just haunts you, you can’t escape it,” Duterte says. “I have a weird relationship to social media and how people perceive me—as this person that has a platform, as a solo artist, and this marginalized person. That was really getting to me. I wanted to express those emotions, but I felt stifled. I feel like a lot of the themes of the songs stemmed from bottled up emotions, frustration with yourself, and acceptance.”

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The title, Anak Ko, means “my child” in Tagalog, one of the native dialects in the Philippines. It was inspired by an unassuming text message from Duterte’s mother, who has always addressed her as such: Hi anak ko, I love you anak ko. “It’s an endearing thing to say, it feels comfortable,” Duterte reflects, likening the process of creating and releasing an album, too, to “birthing a child.” That sense of care charges Anak Ko, as does another concept Duterte has found herself circling back to: the importance of patience and kindness.

“In order to change, you’ve got to make so many mistakes,” Duterte says, reflecting on her recent growth as an artist with a zen-like calm. “What’s helped me is forcing myself to be even more peaceful and kind with myself and others. You can get so caught up in attention, and the monetary value of being a musician, that you can forget to be humble. You can learn more from humility than the flashy stuff. I want kindness in my life. Kindness is the most important thing for this job, and empathy.”

Released August 23rd, 2019

Melina Duterte aka Jay Som, photo by <a href="https://www.lindseybyrnes.com/">Lindsey Byrnes</a>

Melina Duterte, the artist better known as Jay Som, has announced a new record called Anak Ko (“my child” in Tagalog). The follow-up to 2017’s Everybody Works is out August 23rd (via Polyvinyl Records). she’s shared the record’s first single “Superbike.” It arrives with a video that features a behind-the-scenes look into the making of Anak Ko.

Melina Duterte recorded, produced, engineered, and mixed Anak Ko at her Los Angeles home. It includes contributions from Vagabon, Justus Proffit, Chastity Belt’s Annie Truscott, and Boy Scout’s Taylor Vick, as well as her Jay Som bandmates Zachary Elasser, Oliver Pinnell, and Dylan Allard. According to a press release, the title was inspired by a text message from her mother, who often tells her, “Hi anak ko, I love you anak ko.”

“Superbike” hops and skips across the shoegaze spectrum, starting out jangly and pretty before winding up in a gauzy drone. The result is intoxicating, with all eyes on upcoming album  Anak Ko.

“Superbike” is taken from Jay Som’s new album, Anak Ko, out August 23rd, 2019.

This week Jay Som (aka Melina Duterte) announced a new album, Anak Ko, and shared its first single, “Superbike,” via a video for the track. She has also announced some tour dates.

For “Superbike,” Duterte’s aim was to merge Cocteau Twins and Alanis Morissette for a song that in a press release she says lets “loose over swirling shoegaze. I came up with the vocal melody while chopping onions during a rare snowstorm in Joshua Tree, definitely one of my favorite memories from making the album.”

Anak Ko is the follow-up to 2017’s acclaimed Everybody Works, also on Polyvinyl Records . Duterte was based in the Bay Area, but relocated to Los Angeles prior to recording the new album. She recorded Anak Ko at home as the sole producer, engineer, and mixer. A press points out that “in some songs, you can hear the washer/dryer near her bedroom.” Although it wasn’t a completely solitary affair, the album also features plenty of guests, including Vagabon’s Laetitia Tamko, Chastity Belt’s Annie Truscott, Justus Proffit, and Boy Scouts’ Taylor Vick, as well as her touring bandmates Zachary Elasser, Oliver Pinnell, and Dylan Allard.

The album’s title is pronounced “Ah-nuh Koh,” which means “my child” in Filipino. It was inspired by a text message from Duterte’s mother, who often addresses her as “anak ko.” “It’s an endearing thing to say, it feels comfortable,” Duterte says in a press release.

In the press release Duterte says the album is about the importance of patience and kindness and that those concepts have helped her growth as an artist. “In order to change, you’ve got to make so many mistakes,” she says. “What’s helped me is forcing myself to be even more peaceful and kind with myself and others. You can get so caught up in attention, and the monetary value of being a musician, that you can forget to be humble. You can learn more from humility than the flashy stuff. I want kindness in my life. Kindness is the most important thing for this job, and empathy.”.

Back in February Jay Som shared a brand new song, “Simple,” that was released as part of the Adult Swim Singles series. That song is not featured on the new album. Last year Jay Som teamed up with Justus Proffit for a collaborative EP, Nothing’s Changed.

“Superbike” is taken from Jay Som’s new album, Anak Ko, out August 23rd, 2019. via Polyvinyl.