As a Bay Area music fan, you obviously know about Jay Som (aka Melina Duterte) by now. Off the strength of a bedroom demo, she’s signed to Polyvinyl, toured with Mitski, and garnered the attention of Pitchfork with the release of “I Think You’re Alright”.
“Alright” is simply lovely on the surface — it’s so sweet and serene, and although the lyrics almost immediately get into pretty damn dark and sad relationship territory, the verses never lose that sweet tone sonically. But there’s one moment that really gets me, and may be my favorite moment in any song I’ve heard this year:
That slide from “you’re” up to “all” back down to “right” is perfectly executed. The notes transition slightly off the expected cadence and form something of a “millennial whoop” made dark and powerful. It’s subtle yet shocking. It punched me in the gut and then gave me goosebumps. Is it a sign of power, a sly hint that she’s the real manipulator in the story? Or is it a cry for help? Just a hint of vulnerability through an attempt to sound cool with the situation? No matter the direction, the moment adds an extra layer of mystery and personality. It’s so uneasy and chilling, elevating the song from a really good one to a masterpiece. Well done, Melina.
Jay Som performs with a full band tonight, opening for Peter Bjorn and John at Slim’s.