Archives for posts with tag: Jay Som

Jay Som 2016“Turn Into” is the title track of the Jay Som album originally called “Untitled” when it was released last December when PopLib previewed the first track.

A lot has happened in the short time since “Untitled” was released.  When the album was recorded it was just Melina Duterte playing and recording at her home in San Francisco. Now Jay Som is a band. There’s a single out on the Fat Possum Label and the band recently toured supporting Mitski. That “Untitled” album has proved so popular it is getting an LP release in November, and a proper title – “Turn Into”.

As with everything I’ve heard from Jay Som, there’s an accomplished combination of some unusual elements in this song. It evokes a little bit of “Rumours” era Fleetwood Mac (the feel) and also “Ignite the Seven Cannons” era Felt (the guitar sound).

That uncanny ability to weave subtle nostalgic elements from different styles of music within honest-sounding contemporary melodic alternative pop is what makes “Turn Into” (the song and the album) so easy to enjoy.


PopLib_songs2015Time for another list. This time it’s 10 favourite songs posted here in 2015.

1. Ego – “Moon” 

These Sydney youngsters  released two sublime Bandcamp singles in 2015. “Moon” was the first and it’s a perfect DIY spacey soft-psych-rock anthem, incorporating one of the best earworm guitar melodies ever.

2. Day Ravies – “Fake Beach”

Hard to pick one song as a favourite from their stellar 2nd album “Liminal Zones”, but this one never fails to brighten the day.

3. Birdation – “Hen’s Teeth”

Hope Robertson’s Birdation solo sound adventuring has been the experimental pop highlight of the Dunedin scene for me in 2015. “Hen’s Teeth” adds vocals and takes on a song form closer to her wall-of-guitar band Bad Sav.

4. Elan Vital – “Albtraum”

Dark electronica from Dunedin newcomers, incorporating at least one member of Death and the Maiden. Claustrophobic, with a neon strip-light glare, but a heart of gritty pop.

5. Jay Som – “Forget About It Kid”

Earlier in the year, before the release of her accomplished “Untitled” demos album, Melina Duterte as Jay Som had this song on a Beech Coma  compilation cassette.

6. Sam Hunt with David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – “Wavesong”

The best song about the sea and waves and the ebb and flow of coastal life in NZ as you are likely to hear this year or any other year. Sam Hunt’s poetry and psychedelic waveform sounds.

7. Kairi – “Placid”

A gentle surprise, the unlikely combination of elements into one of the most distinctive local songs of the year. There was mini album released after this but nothing else on it matched the perfect mystery of “Placid”.

8. Pesk – “tyranny”

Doomy guitar-sludge & semi electronic pop, with epic whistling from another Dunedin newcomer. If there’s a developing Gothtronica scene in town then here’s hoping for more like this.

9. Yesses – “Short Love”

Out of nowhere and disappearing almost as soon as they released the EP this songs is from, Yesses may yet return to Dunedin and woo us with their highly melodic and adventurous pop.

10. Govrmint – “All These Conditions”

Fidgety glitch-pop from Dunedin’s experimental electronic and sound manipulation underworld. This was from an album available as a download and also as a very limited edition 12″ vinyl LP with handmade screen printed sleeves. Only 12 copies were made and one of those is at PopLib HQ.

Jay Some Untitled

Way back in March PopLib featured “Forget About It Kid” by Jay Som/ Melina Duterte, raving (just a little bit) about its Cure-inspired chorus guitar and synth wash with a nod in the direction of 80’s post-punk.

There’s now a whole album of heart-melting DIY perfect pop from this young Californian musician. “Peach Boy” is the opening track on this collection titled, well, “Untitled”.

“Untitled” – which Melina describes as “A collection of finished & unfinished songs written/recorded/and mixed from March 2014 – October 2015” – contains song after song combining perfect underground melodic pop songwriting sensibilities with sometimes exotic instrumental arrangements.

Whereas “Forget About It Kid” seemed to take its cue from The Cure and 80s post-punk (as filtered through the prism of a Californian teenager’s mind 30 years later) “Untitled” widens and deepens that palette of sonic influences to include “dad rock” (according to the tags on the album’s Bandcamp page at least), ’90’s shoegaze and beyond.

It’s gorgeous, adventurous, nuanced alternative pop, written, performed, recorded and mixed with preternatural understanding of how this kind of music should sound.

Treat yourself & be generous on the “name your price” Bandcamp album purchase. It’s almost Christmas after all.





Here’s the second unnecessary list from the mid-way point in PopLib’s year of music discovery 2015. This one is PopLib’s favourite 5 songs posted so far this year.

OK, it’s actually 6 songs, but the two songs sharing 5th equal on this list total just over 3 minutes together. Anyway, these are the songs played the most, loved the most so far in 2015. Pretty simple…

5 = Jim Nothing – Raleigh Arena

Christchurch 4-track portastudio cassette tape mangler Jim Nothing encapsulates the spirit of fuzzy lo-fi guitar pop in 1 minute and 18 seconds with “Raleigh Arena” from his “Zig Zag Blues” cassette.

5 = Shunkan – Our Names

The first single in advance of a debut album due later in 2015, “Our Names” is a different sounding Shunkan to the name we were first introduced to a year ago via the self-recorded cassette EP “Honey, Milk & Blood” and the following electronica excursions on シュンカン I . The Shunkan of “Our Names” is now a 5-piece band (one of the best live bands around the south of NZ at the moment) and the song a stirring 2-minute fuzz-pop anthem full of melodic hooks.

4. Jay Som/ Melina Duterte – Forget About It Kid

From that Cure-inspired chorus guitar to the epic chiming guitar parts and synth wash, the combination of elements of 80’s post-punk with dreamy synth-pop gives this fine song by young Californian Melina Duterte (also going under the name Jay Som) depth and substance.

3. Ego – Moon

These Sydney youngsters have delivered an unlikely space-rock anthem that sounds contemporary while also unwittingly recreating some 70’s style soft-rock magic through those reverb-washed harmony vocals. Supple, under-stated drumming and earworm guitar melodies give a hint of a band with much potential.

2. Birdation – Hen’s Teeth

Within the murky overblown distortion and submerged vocals of “Hen’s Teeth” lurks a brilliant song. But the structural murk itself contributes so much to the mood struck here. Hard to believe something as massive sounding as this is performed live by just one person. But anyone who has seen Hope Robertson play as Birdation (or in her many other guitarist guises) knows what she can conjure with a jumble of pedals, ancient drum-machine and sundry electronic devices, including the unexpected sonic properties of an e-cigarette.

1. Day Ravies – Under the Lamp

The whole “Under The Lamp” EP – and the 7″ single preceding it – is wonderful. Can’t stop playing it. Every song is a favourite but “Under The Lamp” is just so perfect. The sonic churn and swoop of the guitar evokes My Bloody Valentine, but the vocal melody would shine on a Broadcast album and the whole thing is wrapped up in a Stereolab-esque keyboard swirl, without sounding derivative of any of these bands. A second Day Ravies album is out in July. Can’t wait.