Jay Som is solely responsible for Anak Ko. She was songwriter and musician, producer and engineer. The result is a record that is indisputably hers. Though she proudly wears her influences on her sleeve (Cocteau Twins, the Cure etc...) there is no denying that she makes the realm of dream pop entirely her own.
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I am partial to a bit of dream pop, when done well. Jay Som (Melina Duterte) does it exceedingly well and now, two tracks into her latest album, I’m falling ever more deeply in love with her sound. Opening track ‘If You Want It’ is a lovely, summery, bouncy and bright song, complete with uplifting and ear-catching melodies and wistful, bittersweet vocal. A gorgeous start, then.
Beautifully transitioning next into the Cocteau Twins-ish vibes of ‘Superbike’; those jangly guitars, super-melodic bassline and pitch-perfect vocal later recede to make way for a stunning surf-and-wash of MBV-evoking guitar. There’s more than a hint of Slowdive (and DIIV), too: particularly on ‘Peace Out’. Slacker vibes ahoy. C’est l’ennui... in the nicest and prettiest way possible, of course. ‘Devotion’ reminds me of the breezy chillwave-pop sound previously brought to us by the likes of Toro Y Moi. The yacht-rock revival continues, hooray! In its own sweet time and way, naturally.
Bedroom pop is so immaculate these days. The record sounds fantastic: the production is simple, crisp and clear. So it’s a surprise perhaps (to me) to discover that Duterte produced, engineered and mixed the whole caboodle on her own. All the better to remain in control of your craft and realise a vision to its full potential, amirite? And all written by Duterte during a week-long seclusion at Joshua Tree. Yup, it’s mightily impressive.
The whole record is carefully infused with a wonderful West Coast atmosphere, the songs are great, and the textures perfect. A smooth sound with jagged moments which delight rather than jar. Who’s got my beer?
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