Title - 'Anak Ko' [Orange & Pink Splatter Vinyl LP]
Artist - Jay Som
After the breakout success of Jay Som’s 2017 debut album, Everybody Works, the band’s songwriter, producer, and creative force Melina Duterte spent the next few years taking advantage of all the opportunities her unexpected success suddenly offered her.
She took Jay Som on the road, performing with the likes of Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Paramore, Alvvays and more across multiple US and European tours.
She made appearances at various high-profile festivals, including Primavera Sound, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, and many more. She even found time to sneak in a collaborate EP, Nothing’s Changed, with like-minded solo artist Justus Proffit.
When it was time to make Jay Som’s second album, Duterte relocated from her hometown roots in California’s Bay Area to Los Angeles and started writing.
The result, Anak Ko, is some of Duterte’s strongest work to date. Translating to “my child” in English (it's actually written in Tagalog, one of the native dialects in the Philippine), Anak Ko features sweeping, shoegazey guitars ('Superbike'), delicate string AND pedal steel arrangements ('Nighttime Drive,' 'Get Well'), and incredible production that showcases Duterte’s evolving skills in the studio ('Anak Ko').
In short, Anak Ko presents an exciting glimpse into Duterte’s creative process and solidifies her undeniable progression as one of 2019's strongest and gifted songwriters.
1. 'If You Want It'
3. 'Peace Out'
5. 'Nighttime Drive'
7. 'Anak Ko'
9. 'Get Well'
Opening with the free flowing beauty of 'If You Want It,' that's backed seamlessly by the pacier 'Superbike,' and then the lo-fi, dusky appeal of 'Peace Out.'
The electro pop bounce of 'Devotion' makes this one of my own personal favorites here, and that's followed by the soulful acoustic/electric guitar-led 'Nighttime Drive.'
The sunny day, driving with the top down, lush California vibe of 'Tenderness' (a song that Duterte actually calls “a feel-good, funky, kind of sexy song” in part about “the curse of social media and how it complicates relationships") is then backed by the sterner, more methodically paced, sternly darker notes of the title track.
This quite incredible, vibrantly electric, yet ambiently eclectic album then rounds out with the highflying, and at times symphonic electro flows attached to 'Crown,' before coming to a close with the gently Western-themed 'Get Well.'
“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.”
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