SXSW 2017 Band To Watch: Jay Som

Ahead of South By Southwest, Stereogum is highlighting a handful of our Band To Watch alumni who have busy schedules at this year’s festival. If you’re in Austin this week, now’s your chance to actually watch some Bands To Watch.

Melina Duterte is the mastermind behind the breakout indie rock project Jay Som. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Duterte started making music as a tween and this year, at the age of 22, she released her debut album. Duterte’s songs narrate small moments of frustration in her day-to-day and the push and pull of fledgling relationships. Her lyrics are simple, open-hearted meditations on growing up and working hard to get where you’re going.

For that reason, Jay Som’s debut album is called Everybody Works. It’s a collection of 10 songs, and not a single one sounds alike in its instrumentation. Duterte self-produced the album and recorded the bulk of it in her bedroom studio. It’s quite literally “bedroom pop,” but nothing about Everybody Works sounds lo-fi or pedestrian. This is an LP made to last; it opens with optimistic, psychedelic chimes on “Lipstick Stains,” before lead single “The Bus Song” breaks through with its singular charm. “Take time, we’ll figure it out,” Duterte sings. “I’ll be the one who sticks around.” If that’s true, then Jay Som’s the kind of project that can only expand and grow from here.

Check out all of their SXSW performances below:

03/15 Cheer Up Charlie’s (AdHoc) – 1:00PM
03/15 Hotel San Jose – 3:00PM
03/15 Bar 96 (Culture Collide) – 5:00PM
03/16 Sidewinder (Another Planet/Noise Pop) – 1:30PM
03/16 French Legation (Pitchfork) – 3:30PM
03/16 Cheer Up Charlie’s (BrooklynVegan) – 5:30PM
03/16 Cheer Up Charlie’s (Polyvinyl) – 10:00PM
03/17 Space 24 Twenty (Urban Outfitters) – 2:00PM
03/17 Hole In The Wall (Austin Oasis) – 5:10PM