There’s no denying the work Jay Som has been putting in. After finishing a tour of Europe in June, joining the second half of the Paramore and Foster the People North American tour in July, taking on headline shows in Iowa, Texas, and Arizona, and joining the Panorama music festival lineup, Jay Som (Melina Duterte) and company closed out their summer tour at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on July 28.
At first glance, the twenty-something California native appears charmingly shy. Once her guitar was strapped on, she exuded humble confidence that makes you crave her friendship (and, let’s just say, we’d be very good pals). Showcasing a new, sweet mix of indie rock and synth pop, Jay Som had the room swaying and singing along to newly released singles “Pirouette” and “O.K., Meet Me Underwater” and clear crowd favorite “The Bus Song” off her 2017 album Everybody Works, to name a few.
Everybody Works, a proper and true DIY album recorded in Duterte’s bedroom, blends together a background in classical and jazz music with a forward-thinking, abstract mindset. The lyrics dance effortlessly together, never once leaving you unfulfilled, but rather at peace in a story and a feeling. From mini slow ballads of infatuation to energetic declarations of love and a backdrop like the intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg to set the mood, Duterte and company successfully took us on a late night journey.
Alongside the likes of Japanese Breakfast (we love a solid JBrekkie bop) and pop artist Mitski, we’ve eagerly watched as these artists create a supportive and impactful environment for each other, other artists, and, of course, for all those hitting play on their albums. Jay Som has blossomed into an artist to watch as she continues to develop her sound and uses her art as a method of conversation and determination as an Asian-American, female, queer-identified person. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long for the next tour.
Stepping back: the night began with Lo Moon, another L.A.-based indie band that, impressively, was on their third show of the day and still managed to captivate the entire room. Comprised of Matt Lowell, Crisanta Baker, and Sam Stewart, the group unexpectedly won over the crowd with their unique atmospheric sound, hypnotic stage presence, and gentle — quite frankly sedative — vocals. After opening for other noteworthy names such as The Temper Trap and Muna, Lo Moon will continue touring this fall supporting Chvrches, as well as headlining select cities while on the road.