Maria Carrasco

Jay Som‰’s sophomore album Everybody Works is one of the best indie rock albums of 2017. The project of California singer-songwriter Melina Duterte is detailed, thoughtful and intimate while still being a great guitar rock album.

I‰’m on WVAU‰’s music staff, so when I received my weekly albums to review in early March, Everybody Works was an instant hit. My original review even included the side note of “hey, this is actually really good, play it.‰Û

And this album has stuck with me all year, from playing this album on my show as my two rackspins for the 2017 spring semester to playing it just for fun during my show in the 2017 fall semester.

You have songs that are punchy and energetic like my personal favorite, “1 Billion Dogs‰” and “Take It‰” to tender, kind-hearted songs like “Baybee‰” and “One More Time, Please.‰Û

But more than just how the music sounds, and the instrumentals on this album are tight, the themes really make this record. The theme of moving on from a young teen to a young adult are evident, especially in the title track, “Everybody Works.‰Û

Lyrics in the song like “I’m a good kid / I swear I don’t lie / I’ll get a job / Turn into one lovely guy‰” and “Try to make ends meet / Penny pinch ’til I’m dying / Everybody works‰” shows Duterte‰’s personal struggle of working while trying to be a musician, including her parents doubt.

Smooth and sweet track “Baybee‰” sounds the complete opposite to what Duterte is singing about, which is giving up yourself for a relationship. One of my favorite parts is the melody at 2:59.

“Sweetheart, listen / Make up your mind / Whatever helps you sleep / In the night / Pieces won‰’t mend back together / That’s a shame / You shaved off parts of me I must erase / Cause I know / You know / I know.‰Û

And that‰’s what encompasses this album, growing up, working, dealing with relationships, depression, love and more. The way that Duterte covers them is brilliant, with some great hazy, noisey indie rock makes Jay Som‰’s Everybody Works WVAU‰’s Best Rackspin for 2017.