Review: Jay Som Drops Diverse, Tender, Buoyant New Album 'Anak Ko'

Jay Som brings an eclectic and beautiful blend of indie pop and rock on her new LP.
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Jay Som Anak Ko

Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, Jay Som, real name Melina Duterte, has released her new album Anak Ko. Translating in Tagalong to “my child,” the title relates to her Filipino mother’s pet name for her. Building on her two previous albums, Jay Som shows she is continuing to grow and there is still so much more for her to accomplish.

Anak Ko is a blend of everything that has made her a cult favorite and critic darling. It spans multiple genres, shows technical precision, good songwriting and a smooth tenderness that can often be lost in this blend of indie pop and rock. She wrote, mixed and produced the album herself in her bedroom studio, but recruited Vagabon, Annie Truscott (of Chastity Belt), Justus Profitt, and others to bring the project together.

The album can be a bit odd and evocative, with the psychedelic ending to the title track “Anak Ko” and the tenderness on the jazzy “Tenderness.” There is a wide sonic diversity to this LP that spans the chugging and upbeat intro to “Superbike” that has developed into mini-hit for her, or the breezy, synth-bound indie pop on “Devotion” and the bluesy Americana on “Get Well” that recalls some past work.

"I don’t like playing the same music. I don’t want to play the same song over and over again,” Jay Som said to The Ringer earlier this week. “I think that’s just a culmination of the music that I listen to and what I was raised on, too.”

That can be felt and heard on this record that seems to bounce from different styles and sounds, but still remains incredibly cohesive. Stream this album below that may be flying under the radar of big records this week, but may just be the best. Pick up your copy here.

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