For Oakland musician Melina Duterte, making music is a powerfully personal experience. Recording under the name Jay Som, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who previously played in other Bay Area bands gained recognition as a solo artist while touring with indie favorites Mitski and Japanese Breakfast last year. Now, Duterte is preparing to release her self-produced debut LP that embodies Jay Som’s DIY spirit. Her latest single, “The Bus Song,” is a softly rousing pop ballad that tackles the intricacies of love and individuality with confidence and flair.
“Take time to figure it out / I’ll be the one who sticks around / And I just want you to need me / And I just want you to need me,” Duterte sings in the song’s sweeping and catchy chorus, accentuating her bold and assured stance. Jay Som’s debut album, Everybody Works, will be released March 10 via Polyvinyl/Double Denim. She’ll tour the US following the release, and dates can be found here.