‘Anak Ko’ means “my child” in Tagalog. It’s a phrase used by Jay Som’s mum in text messages; a tender term of endearment in a sea of emojis and Instastories. And here, Anak Ko becomes an intimate title for a showcase of immense songwriting.
Across the album we hear vivid guitar rock, hazy dreamscapes, subtle funk, bold orchestral swells, downbeat blues ballads and a plaintive pedal steel guitar. Few artists are so fluent in as many forms of musical communication, or as eloquent in writing profound pop gems.
Anak Ko addresses Jay Som’s connections with others, with herself, and the complications of social media: “I have a weird relationship to social media and how people perceive me – as this person that has a platform, as a solo artist, and this marginalised person. That was really getting to me. I wanted to express those emotions, but I felt stifled. I feel like a lot of the themes of the songs stemmed from bottled up emotions, frustration with yourself, and acceptance.”
Anak Ko by Jay Som is out August 23 via Pod/Inertia.
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