Jay Som’s ‘Everybody Works’ Is a Brilliant Piece of Bedroom Pop

Jay Som Press Photo (Credit: Cara Robbins)

Everybody Works, which follows her 2016 compilation Turn Into, is Jay Som’s first album as such. Melina Duterte, who records and performs under the Jay Som moniker, recorded the album in her bedroom over the course of three weeks in October. Tossing away many old demos, she wrote half of the album on the spot in addition to recording, playing, and producing every sound on Everybody Works (save some backing vocals). The result is a crowning achievement in the realm of bedroom pop.

Where well-honed guitar work was the defining feature of Turn Into, Duterte has expanded her sound on Everybody Works. She cites influences ranging from Tame Impala to Yo La Tengo to Pixies and even to Carly Rae Jepsen, whose E•MO•TION album, Duterte says, “inspired a lot of the sounds on Everybody Works.” Standout track “The Bus Song” begins quietly with only Duterte’s voice and a quietly plucked guitar before quickly expanding to a larger, almost orchestral sound.

The Jay Som of Turn Into makes appearances as well. The barnstorming “1 Billion Dogs” is filled to the brim with shredding guitars and fuzzy vocals, while “Take It” needs less than three and a half minutes to extract the best of ‘90s alt rock.

“One More Time, Please” is proof positive of Duterte’s ability to craft a smooth, luxurious pop song. A slinky riff leads the song, backed a subtle, funky rhythm.

The songs on Everybody Works, not unlike its predecessor, deal in angst and frustration, but Everybody Works also shows a sense of maturity in those experiences, with Duterte herself saying, “Last time I was angry at the world. This is a note to myself: everybody’s trying their best on their own set of problems and goals. We’re all working for something.”

Jay Som’s Everybody Works is out now through Polyvinyl Records and is available via Amazon, iTunes, and Polyvinyl’s online store.

 Lead Image: Cara Robbins

Food & Drink

Def Leppard’s Got Their Own Beer Now

No foolin’ — you’re going to need more than a photograph of this new brew from Elysian Brewing Company.
Culture

Fall Reading List: 10 Books to Read in October for Chills and Thrills

Poe, Dante, and King... the boys are back in town.
Fashion & Style

What to Wear Tailgating: Fall Style Essentials for Football Fans

Snag these tailgating style basics before the next game.
Food & Drink

10 Best Beef Jerky Brands to Try Before You Die

Do your tastebuds a favor and chow down on each of these beef jerkies.
Music

It’s Good to be Alive: Tunes to Get You Pumped About Life

From stone-cold classics to more obscure modern tracks, this Spotify playlist has been tailored to help you high-five the cosmos.
Living

What You Need to Create the Ultimate Man Cave for Music Lovers

Immerse yourself in sound and style with these products perfect for your own personal listening room.
Food & Drink

The Best Playlist to Enjoy While Day Drinking

Next time you plan on day drinking, put on this Spotify playlist and ride the wave.
Music

New Music Preview: Kamasi Washington, Neko Case, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

June has plenty of new album releases in store, but there are three particular records coming out this month that we can’t wait to hear.
Music

Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

Ah, the open road! It beckons us to cast aside responsibility, embrace the unknown, jump in the car, and just go. Take this mixtape with you.
Food & Drink

Sink Your Teeth Into the Best Summer Barbecue Playlist

Take your cookout from genetically modified slumping to organic, farm-to-table bumping.
Outdoors

Cut the Cord with the Best Wireless Headphones for Running

It's easier to get in the zone with your favorite tunes when you don't have to worry about pesky wires.
Music

How Bose Sleepbuds ‘Non-headphones’ Promise a Better Night’s Sleep

Replace snoring partners or screaming babies with soothing sounds to help you fall (and stay) asleep.