Album review: Jay Som, “Everybody Works”

by Jon E. Lynch

Jay Som, “Everybody Works”

Available: Friday, March 10 via Polyvinyl Record Co. in various formats: Digital download, cassette tape (with an accompanying digital download code), compact disc, and 180-gram orange vinyl.

Deciding on a single album to review for this week proved difficult. Mostly because the stars aligned to play catch up and dump a slew of releases in my lap, many of which have been ignored by the music media. Glam and psych revivalists were treated to a stellar release from Meatbodies in early February and Froth released a more-than-worthy effort last Friday. This week, Cursive front man Tim Kasher will release his fourth solo offering, TEMPLES return with their much-anticipated follow up to “Sun Structures,” Methyl Ethel will deliver an anticipated debut and Anticon hero Why? returns with his unique brand of genre-bending avant-hip-hop for the first time in five years. Next week ramps up further, with releases from Tennis, The Shins, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, and an expanding reissue of an all-time favorite.

So why Jay Som?

I wanted to review the Polyvinyl debut from 22-year-old Melina Duterte because I knew relatively little about the band/recording project. That, and what little I had heard, was charming and infectious. The record label offers a bit of insight: “Duterte’s production was inspired by the complexity of Tame Impala, the simplicity of Yo La Tengo, and the messiness of Pixies.” Honest sonic touchstones, sure, but I hear other influences on a record that was written, recorded, played and produced (mostly … backup vocals aside) singularly. See those below. There are a variety of textures on the album that could, sonically, come off as disjointed upon first listen. The stylistic shifts here work wonderfully – beautifully even – constructing instead a cohesive record that nestles comfortably into one’s psyche. There are quiet-loud-quiet moments that require close attention and active listening. Well worth that extra time and energy.

Recommended for fans of Courtney Barnett, Cat Power, Car Seat Headrest, Speedy Ortiz, Alex G, or YUCK.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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