Jay Som is the project of San Francisco-based 22-year-old Melina Duterte. She’s been putting out music since 2012, the most recent of which is a collection of “finished & unfinished songs” from last year called called Turn Into. Next month, she’s heading out on tour with Mitski and Japanese Breakfast. In conjunction with that tour, she’s re-releasing two older songs — “I Think You’re Alright” and “Rush” — on a new 7″ through Fat Possum.
“I Think You’re Alright” is a twinkling slow-burn, a devotional to a special someone that probably goes beyond the healthy limits of what a relationship should entail, but feels sweet and kind regardless. “When I wake up in the morning, I’ll make you some coffee/ We’ll lay around and let the day pass,” Duterte starts off, but it soon becomes clear this isn’t straight-forward love song. There’s a tired complacency here, sighed out because being together is preferable to the alternative of being alone. It’s heard in the noncommittal “Oh, I think you’re alright,” and solidified in the second verse that sheds light on the darker, one-sidedness of this adulation: “I’ll be your old broken TV, your stuttering baby, your puppy when nobody’s home/ I’ll be your cigarette ash tray, come back when it’s too late/ Worship you til morning comes.” Duterte sounds like she’s losing a part of herself in the process of falling in love, but it also feels like (at least for now), that’s exactly what’s needed. Sometimes all we want is companionship, even if they’re just alright. Listen below.
“I Think You’re Alright” b/w “Rush” is out 6/24 via Fat Possum. Pre-order it here.