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Date TimeAugust 25, 2019
Voice(Polyvinyl)Now on her third album as Jay Som, LA-based Melina Duterte began as a bedroom pop operative, writing and playing the entirety of her first two well-received albums. Her subtle, gauzy indie shared a love of 80s shoegaze with a cohort of US dreampop bands, but Duterte also drew, albeit elliptically, on her dad’s funk records and her teenage years as a trumpeter. Her Filipino heritage remains another influence disrupting the idea of indie rock as a white male playground.
Jay Som: Anak Ko review – subtly impressive
On Anak Ko (Tagalog for “my child”), Duterte has gained a band, and while her production values have ratcheted up, this release is also quieter and more accomplished than Everybody Works, its 2017 predecessor. Crowd-pleasers such as Superbike still fetishise shoegaze, but as these nine tracks play out, “indie rock” no longer seems adequate to describe these shifting torch songs, with programmed drums and pastel keyboards; Tenderness sounds oddly like Prefab Sprout. Like previous Jay Som records, Anak Ko might seem slight at first listen, particularly Duterte’s winsome coo, but the payoff for lingering in her evolving dreamspace is hefty.

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