Jay Som can pinpoint when inspiration struck for her lush, aching debut album, Everybody Works: It was during her 2016 tour with fellow indie rockers Mitski and Japanese Breakfast. "I knew it was going to be special because we were all Asian-American women," says the 22-year-old California-born songwriter. "I didn't have that when I was younger."
Emboldened, Som (real name: Melina Duterte) set out to create a project that examined the lives of the oppressed--women, people of color, the queer community--with the goal of galvanizing them. Recorded and produced in her Oakland bedroom, her new LP expands on the lo-fi aesthetic of Turn Into, her 2015 collection of demos, to embrace a heartier sound.
While many of its lyrics are abstract, the title track explicitly addresses the long-standing dismissal of marginalized groups. "As a female-identified musician and a queer person, you have people constantly telling you the world isn't made for you," she says. "I think this is a very sensitive time where we should be thinking about people who don't have as many opportunities as the typical white indie band."
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