New Album Review

ALBUM REVIEW: Jay Som’s “Anak Ko”

Image result for anak ko jay som

Best tracks (in my opinion): Tenderness, Superbike, Devotion

“Anak Ko” is the sophomore album from Melina Duterte who wrote, produced and mixed this piece and her last, “Everybody Works.” (Side note: I found an “Everybody Works” album cover poster at the Scrap Exchange a few weeks ago and now it lives on my hallway wall, what a good find!)

“Anak Ko” means my child in Tagalog. Duterte drew inspiration from the album’s name from a text message her mother sent. The album itself is only 9 sweet tracks that run for about 36 minutes. In it, Jay Som takes us on a soothing, cutesy, though upbeat, ride through the clouds. Colors that come to mind can be found on the album’s cover; sunset oranges, pinks and reds. This album, full of Jay Som’s hushed crooning, features sounds of dream pop, indie rock and, dare I say, a bit of country guitar (listen to Superbike, Devotion or Get Well.) In the song Peace Out I was very much reminded of Mitski’s voice and lyrics (“won’t you try to be anyone else?”) and with this I think Jay Som makes it obvious that she’s reaching into a lot of different bags here.

“Anak Ko” feels like we’re right in Jay Som’s bedroom with her while she sits next to us playing a few songs she just wrote. The sounds and lyrics are very intimate and personal, not to mention the album’s name which offers an introduction into who Melina Duterte really is. Adding more personality, she sings about wanting to change in Devotion and shoplifting from Whole Foods in Nighttime Drive. Sonically, this album is a smooth ride alongside the catchy guitar riffs and Jay Som’s paper thin yet captivating vocals. 

And though it is just Jay Som rocking out with us on this album, she invited a few friends to play instruments and sing some vocals. With this and her constant changes in tempo, soundscape and hooks, she manages to keep the songs diverse and multi-faceted. I know what I’ll be listening to during my next sunset drive home.

by Makayla Mack