The world of indie rock is rife with music that’s more thoughtful and more musically adventurous than what you’d find on one of the large record labels. For a couple of years we’ve been intrigued by Jay Som, primarily because the music she makes has this endearing tone that never really feels impersonal. On her new album Anak Ko, you never feel like you are far and away while she sings from the heart and gives you plenty of reasons to feel like the songs are being sung directly to you.
The opener “If You Want It” gets going with this plunky guitar that’s met with a drum beat that immediately draws you in. The hook filled structure could be enough for even a casual listener, but it’s how the song opens up like arms stretched wide. A symphonic addition falls above these tender vocals that aren’t the icing on the cake as all of the instrumentation comes in at once like a rush creating the sweetest tones. The following track “Superbike” touches on all your indie rock hopes while “Peace Out” mixes a chunky riff with the softest vocals in the best way possible. There’s plenty here that would feel like heavy lifting for most artists though it’s done here with ease as if it’s second nature.
The mix of tender with indie rock simplicity gets intersected with thoughtful arrangements and well constructed songwriting on “Nighttime Drive,” while songs like “Tenderness” and “Anak Ko” add electronic instruments to give your ears plenty of modern nods without deterring you from the songs’ intentions. But with all of this, the biggest stand out for us wasn’t the ultra-catchy sounds on “Crown” but on the album’s closer “Get Well.” That personal feeling falls all over the track that adds a pedal steel guitar to help drive home the breathy vocals. The song adds a whole new element to the album, while utilizing the strongest vocals of the whole release. Anak Ko in many ways feels like a love letter that’s been coming for a long time, and we all get to bask in the beauty of the words within.
Anak Ko is available to purchase directly from Polyvinyl Records on multiple formats and in multiple bundles, it can be downloaded in all digital music stores and streamed wherever you stream music. Jay Som is on tour beginning September 11 at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, AZ until November 27 at The Workmans Club in Dublin, Ireland. Her complete tour routing can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Polyvinyl.