Melina Duterte, the L.A.-based artist better known as Jay Som, invites the DIY ethos of bedroom pop into her music. Her latest release, Anak Ko (the Tagalog phrase for “My Child”) was mostly written during a solo retreat in Joshua Tree, and is home to her bass-heavy track “Night Time Drive.”
Jay Som says of the lofi, dream pop track, accompanied with a woozy music video, that night drives, “encapsulated [her] entire life for the past two years” and that she’s come to “[accept] it and [is] stronger because of it.”
The video opens up with a shot from the front car window as a headlight-lit road winds and whirls. The sound off the bat in this tune, along with Jay Som’s vocals, remind me in the best way of shoegaze-y artists like Frankie Rose and Widowspeak. The band in the vehicle appear exhausted and numb; emotionless. Frames of Jay Som with and without the band are layered with shots of blurred night scenes passing by, heightening the sense of movement and haziness as Jay Som sings, “So used to feeling numb/Shifting through the nighttime drive/We’ll be alright.”
After the first chorus the band shows up at a crop circle. They walk the circles and Jay Som sings, again invoking the notion of numb, rote movement through time. As Jay Som finishes singing the lyrics of this song, viewers see a shot of her in the van with the band, spotlighted with a bright light as she drifts into a dream.
A violin solo kicks off, and in Jay Som’s dream, we see night footage of an alien passionately hula-hooping and dancing through the crop circle, embracing the movement, the night time, the circle. The dream’s alien offers a resolution.
Jay Som hits Denver tomorrow, September 24th at Larimer Lounge with Boy Scouts and Affectionately supporting. Hear this song and more blissfully dreamy tunes at this indie show, and keep up with Jay Som here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.