A rare blend of pop edged with grunge
Venue: Kantine am Berghain
I’m old enough to have bought my first pair of Docs just as the grunge era was kicking off – flannel shirts, babydoll dresses (hi, Courtney) and all. So hear me out on this one: is Jay Som (aka, Melina Duterte) the new Mazzy Star? There’s something about Som’s plaintive voice and sweet guitar fuzz on Anak Ko, her latest album, that pulls me back to Hope Sandoval’s mid-90s wall of sound tactics. The sunny, DIY aesthetic that shimmered through Som’s debut record has been nudged away in favor of a blurrier, low key vulnerability that is somehow both glossier and more raw than we’ve heard before – a rare blend of pop edged with – yes, I’ll say it – grunge.
Maybe she’s just embracing a fresher take on the everyday blasé style that her peers like Snail Mail and Lala Lala have banked their careers on. Or maybe this is merely the next permutation of her musical personality. In any case, I’ll be lost somewhere in the crowd at Kantine am Berghain, trying to hear it for myself.