Gush Piece: “Everybody Works” — Jay Som

One of the most surprising success stories to come out of 2017, Jay Som’s “Everybody Works” manifests into an intimate experience with its minimalistic lyrical style, dreamy lo-fi production, and its vast but spontaneous arrangements. The Bay Area singer-songwriter, Melina Duterte, recorded the entire album over the course of three weeks from her bedroom studio in between tours.

Many critics have dubbed the style bedroom-pop, a term that is often used indiscriminately. But the phrase, in this context, precisely explains the DIY and visceral feel of the album.

My favorite track on the record, “(Bedhead),” makes adept use of reverb across the guitars and bass to create a feeling of claustrophobia to accompany the lyrics detailing the experiences of stage-fright and tour fatigue.

As she collects herself and begins to find her footing during the performance, the guitar and bass lines move out from behind the wall of reverb becoming clear and punchy. Small cuts and distortions break the moment of clarity as if Duterte staggers through the performance and slowly the reverb creeps back into the song as it comes to a close. The effects in the production beautifully mirror every word. That kind of attention to detail is prevalent all throughout the record and made it a favorite of mine this year.

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