Jay Som is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte and “Turn Into” was its debut album.
“Turn Into” is a pretty sweet piece of dream pop music. The instrumentation is totally lo-fi and has a great bedroom feel to the recording. Duterte is a very impressive musician and she sounds competent on the guitar, drums, and every instrument she plays on this album. Duterte also has a great voice that is beautifully soft and mellow. The track listing is suitably chill and pleasant and the whole album goes by quickly despite being 33 minutes long. There are some peaks and valleys in noisiness and Jay Som does get a little rocking at times, but most of the album stays firmly in the realm of dream pop.
I really don’t think there’s a bad song on “Turn Into”, and I like that each one has a slightly different flavor. As a whole, I get the impression that Jay Som is a project with a lot of potential and one that could develop in a few interesting ways. Despite all of these positives on “Turn Into”, I do think the songwriting could have been improved. While I do enjoy the songs on the record, there aren’t any that I am deeply in love with. I feel that some of the tracks could have used more dramatic crescendos or stronger verses/choruses.
Still, this was a good debut for Jay Som and the fact that Duterte did everything completely by herself (as far as I know) really embodies the indie music spirit and is commendable. I know that Jay Som did release newer material this year, which I still have to check out. But based on this, I’m sure I will end up enjoying it.
Favorite songs: “Peach Boy”, “Ghost”, “Why I Say No”, “SLOW”
Check it out for yourself on Jay Som’s bandcamp here: