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Jay Som, Stef Chura, Soccer Mommy (free)

  • Memorial Union Terrace 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Jay Som, the stage name for Oakland's Melina Duterte, has been described in a lot of indecipherable ways over the years, likely due to the fact that for a long time she let her music speak for itself online. Like Donald Glover's Childish Gambino, the name "Jay Som" comes from the Wu-Tang Name Generator. Duterte has been posting her dreamy, intimate songs since MySpace and junior high, and as she's grown, of course, her music has, too. She's continued to tinker and write and record and release, all the way up to 2015, when a sequence of nine songs both finished and unfinished were uploaded to Bandcamp. Even though they were demos, their popularity swelled and garnered a release via Polyvinyl in 2016 as Turn Into. All of that has been a runway to her proper debut, this year's Everybody Works. Although the album certainly continues her tradition of pairing kaleidoscopic melodies with slightly buried vocals, the real surprise is the way her childhood playing trumpet has paid off. No, there are no trumpets on the album, but Everybody Works benefits from an extensive knowledge of what makes songs and an album breathe. Live, this is even more undeniable. At this year's SXSW, Jay Som teamed with a three-piece band and her songs are turned into jagged rock-pop gems with thick and honeyed riffs, her vocals unexpectedly being the undeniable and yet somehow still vulnerable linchpin. —David Wolinsky

Later Event: September 14
Spoon