by tom johnson
Melina Duerte is a wizard. Quite how she manages to eek such lustrous, iridescent wonder out of a collection of scraps (“finished and unfinished songs“) is proof that what lies in her songwriting is something mystical, an intangible force of feeling that floods the rooms and walls within which it finds itself. The new, untitled, collection from the San Franciscan, who performs here under the name Jay Some, is a glorious shape-shifter, songs appearing scrappily and melancholic in one situation and gleaming and fully-charged in the next.
What we have here might well be seen as a clearing of the decks. We’ve long been promised a full and proper release and Untitled too comes with such a caveat. Perhaps then this lightening of the load can clear the way for a truly fruitful 2016. Opening track ‘Peach Boy‘ immediately sets the tone, a swaying, woozy burst of floral pop with suitably sunburnt vocals that sway and fall and dance alongside the giddy guitar lines. ‘Next To Me‘ treads a similar path, Duerte’s vocals delivered with extra bite, while ‘Our Red Door‘ is much more refined, fixing the gaze with a burned-out vocal that sits perfectly against a wash of languid guitar. Penultimate track ‘SLOW‘ acts as the album’s standout moment however, a vibrant but ultimately withdrawn capturing, the sentimental brooding of the vocals matched by the muscular backing of the instrumentation that swarms to a blustering crescendo.
Dishevelled it might well be but Untitled is delivered with such fearless abandon, such joy for its craft that it never once feels redundant. It’s a snapshot of what’s been and a perfect foreword to what might and certainly should come next; a heartening dose of DIY adventure that will leave a colourful streak upon your day. Stream it below.
Untitled is out now, via Bandcamp