Melina Duterte has been a musician for 13 years—which is impressive, considering she’s only 22 years old. But ever since she was a teenager, Duterte has been creating intimate fuzz-pop under the moniker Jay Som, and the buzz in her native San Francisco has pegged her as the Bay Area’s next big breakout. The early press has borne that theory out: Pitchfork blessed her song “I Think You’re Alright” with a glowing track review.
Turn Into, her first full-length, began life as a demo tape shot off into the Internet abyss. Duterte uploaded it to Bandcamp in late 2015, dubbing it nine “finished and unfinished songs.” Now, it’s getting a proper re-release through Polyvinyl Records. The immediately obvious standout is “Next To Me”—a polished stab at something more upbeat and sweetly lilting, similar in style to Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Lyrically, it’s hard-hitting: “And fuck being patient. I’m fragile—I’m not weak.”
Indeed, Duterte’s strength and determination runs through Turn Into like a molten iron core, a firm anchor and foil for her gauzy instrumentation and melodies. The interplay between grit and sweetness drives Turn Into forward, making it an emotionally honest snapshot of an artist beginning to find her identity.