Art. Art everywhere.
Pressuredrop.tv, a music organization that hosts up-and-coming artists in offbeat locations, has set Jay Som up in Lot Art Salon, a funky little spot where they buy estate paintings or collections and sell them out of this cozy den. Earth-toned hues color the walls and there are heaps of fragile-looking picture frames full of things that I would be nervous just to breathe around.
Melina Dutarte, the creator of Jay Som along with the other members, are all in neutral colors themselves. My eyes scan the group to get an idea of their style: a dark flannel, an army-green bomber jacket, a dope multi-colored sweater I’d like to own, and a brown little beanie placed perfectly atop Melina’s head, which I have decidedly dubbed “The Hobo Halo.”
Cue a tasty rhythm on the drums and the rest of the instruments will follow in style. The bass guitar has a low-key funky way about it while the lead guitar shreds a high-pitched melody. Melina comes in with vocals and they are just lovely. Her voice is easy-on-the-ears and the texture can only be described as smooth and angelic. That sort of singing over a groovy bass, psychedelic-jazzy guitar and a suave drumbeat make for an stimulating listening experience.
Melina drills repetitive lines into the mic:
This verse specifically stands out to me because I feel it reflects back on the young composer and her talented band mates. They perform their set with a well-crafted and perfected tightness.
I am looking at the ultimate “cool musician kids.” They all appear to pick apart the songs in their own unique way and space, but simultaneously sound completely together in this inventive fusion of musical styles. They nonchalantly bob their bodies along to the music and occasionally toss each other chill/supportive head nods — as if what they were doing something that didn’t require immense fucking coordination and skill.
As the set progresses, I note that Melina really starts to get comfortable in her voice. Like the pipes have started to heat up and are becoming more malleable; she hits hiccuped high notes but also drops it down low to draw out her more yell-y phrases.
“…You don’t want to see me like this…”
There are pieces of classy art covering almost every inch of the space, but because of the warm color theme and the closeness, I almost don’t notice the immense detail all around. A lot of sophistication, yet comfortable. The same could be said of Jay Som.
“Lipstick Stains” — I’ll be your cigarette ashtray / Come back when it’s too late
It’s safe to say that this is my favorite tune played in this set. The lyrics are crisp and audible, but the content itself is up to interpretation. To top it off, there is this badass build-up in the middle of the song where they all just jam out in this oh-so-triumphant sounding manner. Ladies and gentlemen: we have peaked.
The prickly sounding madness takes me to the edge and holds me there until they make a unanimous and seemingly telepathic decision to whip me right back to where I need to be with just a few pleasurable notes, united. Once they’ve settled me down, the angel coos the remaining verses into the mic.
“Bye!” They all holler out as a unit.
Jay Som, you know just how leave a girl feeling satisfied.
photo credit: Rachel Escoto @pixielina