Jay Som-Pirouette

“Pirouette” exemplifies Jay Som’s signature guitar fuzz, soft hazy vocals, and contemplative lyrics.


Donna is only one of many waiting, worrying, and wishing for answers and a different outcome…an outcome where health is restored and the normalcy of everyday life can return.

Today I sat with my simple lunch in a waiting area tucked away from the everyday hubbub of the space I was becoming all too familiar with. Despite it being a new wing, not many traveled through the automatic doors or sat upon the comfortable leather chairs. I discovered it the last time I was here a couple of weeks ago, and remembered the peace and tranquility that surrounded it. I couldn’t help but appreciate looking out at the sky through the giant windows that were an oddity in the hospital. It’s sky view was a luxury in a place where patients tend to lie in dark quiet rooms to heal, and contrasting fluorescent lights blind you when you venture outside of those, down the crazy maze of halls.

As I looked out at the gray scene, I spotted a well dressed woman in full makeup and carefully coiffed hair. She was dropped off at the door, while I finished the last bites of my tasteless lunch. A carefully placed cane used to stabilize her cautious slow steps forward, proceeded her as she stepped into the lounging area. She and I were the only ones in the large, almost cavernous space, and I looked up to smile and greet her when she let out a loud breathy sigh at her journey’s end. She smiled back and after introducing herself as Donna and exchanging pleasantries of the day, she spoke to me in hushed cautious tones about her family’s tragic health dilemmas.


She just finished chemo treatment, her husband would likely not recover from liver cancer, and they were visiting her young, newly married son who was in surgery for multiple growths on his spine.

We bonded in the many weighty minutes that unfolded in front of us, and eventually ended our conversation with a shared exchange of prayers, well wishes, and hope for peace.

I dropped my head in heartache after she left. Then, after quiet contemplation, the realization of her powerful inner strength began to take hold of me. I then slowly lifted my head and looked out at the scene through the windows again. But this time, instead of the gray skies and the spitting rain that seemed to never let up, I spotted a beautiful hint of spring.


Was it a sign of hope, and renewal? I stood up and made my way outside to experience it up close and breathe in the beauty of the early blossoming redbud tree.

It wasn’t an answer to my many difficult questions, but it brought me a moment of distraction and satisfying relief.

As I sifted through new music tonight, I worried I might not find a song that expressed my mood today. Then, I miraculously heard this song.

How can I not be in awe of music which speaks to me so perfectly? I hope it speaks to you.

Jay Som-Pirouette

“Drink feels good, but it feels so rough
There’s room for calm when the going gets tough
So empty and blue, a beaten heart aches
For more and more and more

Ah-ah-ah, backwards again
Ah-ah-ah, back to the sins
I pray for answers beneath the moon

[Verse 2]
Sinking moon sits on our heads
Why do we try when it’s all pretend?
Ashamed of use, can’t get out of bed ‘cause
Sleep’s a must, it’s our best friend

Our bodies crease and piece
Release buried beneath
The time will come when all is done
Moon will sleep with the tides

Ah-ah-ah, backwards again
Ah-ah-ah, back to the sins
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath the moon
Beneath the moon

Ah-ah-ah, backwards again
Ah-ah-ah, back to the sins
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath the moon
I pray for answers beneath”



Jay Som represents Melina Duterte, a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist out of Oakland. The name, Jay Som, is what Duterte randomly found via an online baby name generator meaning “Victory Moon.”

After much success from her album last year, Everybody Works, she recently released a new 7 inch via Polyvinyl Records with two tracks that she felt didn’t really fit on the album. “Pirouette” was one song and “O.K., Meet Me Underwater” was the other.

According to a press statement from Jay Som,

“Both of these tracks were made during the spring of 2016 – the first demo stages for Everybody Works. They were fun to write and record but felt out of place on the track list during the finalization of the album. These tracks remain close to my heart and I’m really grateful they’re finally out in the world.”

“Pirouette” exemplifies Jay Som’s signature guitar fuzz, soft hazy vocals, and contemplative lyrics. Ending in almost two minutes of instrumentals, it captures a mantra of sound that hypnotizes and captivates the listener. As I play it on repeat, I recognize the whirl of music to be balanced and resplendent like the pirouette of a  ballerina. Raw in its aural intensity, the music provides a backdrop for the much needed answers we all seem to long for, at one time or another.


 Check it out and click to learn more…

Jay Som  Facebook,  Instagram, and  Twitter




Mood Monday-Emily Wells-Don’t Use Me Up and Come To Me

Don’t Use Me Up and Come to Me are both jaw droppingly powerful songs with folk gospel leanings in a neo-classical style.

Mood Monday


I have slept for a really long time.

I should be rested, but my mind is full. My heart is full. Name an emotion and I have probably felt it in the past few days. Anyone, go ahead, try and stump me.

I have been traveling on a once in a lifetime trip throughout the Northwest. We began in Portland and ended up in San Francisco. We drove over 1,000 miles. I laughed till I cried, screamed in bouts of fear, and ooohed and ahhhed taking in the the vast beauty of our earth.

I felt puny and quite insignificant among the mountains, lakes, and ocean we visited. Their power was enormous and I felt my power as a human diminish significantly in their presence. My trip was full of incredibly spiritual moments, quiet beautiful moments of reflection and connection. And yes, I listened to some really good music.

The people we encountered were diverse and interesting. Their stories were real and poignant. Amazingly many of the colorful people we talked to were from the south and moved away to find a more diverse and accepting world.

The trip began with cycling in Portland, dancing at Pickathon, windsurfing on the Hood River  (admittedly I was just watching, but still), hiking Crater Lake, riding through the Giant Redwoods, hair whipping walks on the headlands of the California coast, sipping wines in wine country, experiencing an exotic dinner in Japantown, riding on a Go Car through San Francisco, and ended up with dinner and dancing in the Mission. Believe it or not, that is a very simplified overview.

Then, with my jar full to spilling over with exotic experiences and euphoria….I was slapped with the reminder that life isn’t always good and happy.

Within a simple email of deep love and sadness, I learned about a loved one who is beginning to walk the terrible road of fiercely fighting an advanced Cancer. Tears and shock permeate me, and I am the lucky one. My heart breaks for the hardships she will endure and her need to turn away from everything she is so focused on that brings her joy. A distraction of great magnitude. A boulder rolling down toward her. It will take all of her focus, smarts, power and strength to halt it. I wish I could step in and stop it. The hateful part is that I can’t. None of us can and my heart breaks in the frightening realization that the universe is so much bigger than we are.

As if that wasn’t enough and when my heart couldn’t bear much else, I answered a phone call of frantic sobbing screams of sadness. I learned of the tragic loss of a young vibrant youth. A gentle soul of a boy, quiet and strong in his friendships, witty and quick to draw a smile on everyone’s lips, a determined gatherer of friends….he passed away senselessly. A gifted, loved guy, barely an adult….my pain is based on his sweet, close friends who suffer his loss, and wishing I had known him just a little bit more. I will forever miss saying hello to him at gatherings over holidays, future graduation celebrations, inevitable weddings, and and and and…..

My heart breaks for his loved ones and his family.

Like an egg, I am cracked and worried for my dearest. I worry if I say the right thing or act the right way. I want to be some kind of light in their darkness, and then after listening to their pain, I try to remember to end every sentence with reassurances of my love. Sadly, that is the one and only thing I actually have the power to do.

Listen and love.

Helplessness is hell.

When your loved ones suffer it is hell.

So as much as I would like to share all the upbeat music that describes my rockin’ trip, today, I just can’t. This song is a powerful testament to the pain I feel. A gospel like tune with an aura of serious wrenching emotion, “Don’t Use Me Up” can be interpreted in many ways. For me, it simply sings of a pain, that all humans feel at one time or another.

At this moment in time it speaks to me.

Emily Wells-Don’t Use Me Up


Don’t use me up
I wanted everything so don’t use me up
Don’t let me down

I’m really counting on you so don’t let me down
Everything is easier when you wash it down
All your friends are your best friends
When you wash it down
So go meet the devil. Go meet Jesus
When you wash it down, when you wash it down
Don’t tie me up
I got no strings attached so don’t tie me up
Don’t let me go
I wanna hold you back so don’t let me go
Everything is brighter when you wash it down
Everyone knows your name when you wash it down
So go meet the devil. Go meet Jesus
When you wash it down
We went down to the water to be baptized

Don’t use me up

I wanted everything so don’t use me up
Don’t let me down to the water to be baptized


Emily Wells began playing the violin at the age of 4. She has now become an American multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer whose genres encompass alternative, experimental, and classical. Featured often on NPR music, and recently played to a stunned crowd at The Earl, I am only just beginning to hear the depth and beauty of her music.

Her single, “Don’t Use Me Up”, off of her early 2016 album release, Promise, is jaw droppingly powerful. Beginning with ethereal angel like voices and hymnal rounds, it stops with the punch of pleading requests. In an interview, Emily describes the song,

 “Among the first songs written for the album some time ago during a time of particular abandon. I joke that it’s a song about whiskey, friendship and Jesus, but in truth it was an s.o.s. to myself, to my future self, to people I loved, intended to remind us that the body is finite. As time passes so grows the meaning of the song and I now think most often of the finiteness of the planet when I sing it. The recording is one shade shy of a gospel hangover with all the instruments tempted to come off the rails when things get too quiet.


Her entire album is pleasurably full of mixes and arrangements that twist and turn with emotion. A roller coaster of sounds and feels, the latest album is a cool one to listen to in those questioning life moments. I have also added, “Come To Me”on my play again and again playlist. Another must listen to song, if you dig her unusual style.



Despite her songs waking me to my rawest emotions, I think I will sleep and sleep and sleep where dreams abound and reality is softened, if only temporarily.

Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite…



Mood Monday-Seafret-Oceans


Mood Monday.

Hold on and don’t let go. This is just doggone beautiful. There is something so amazing about the combination of lovely lyrics and ethereal, alluring music that expresses the crazy beauty of love and the wedges the world and living, place in between.

I wish I could unite the oceans in between all relationships. Hardships, miscommunication, illness, money worries, conflict, power struggles and even loss…..life is so darn messy. I truly believe love conquers all and unflinching patience is an important part. Listen with me, and by doing so, maybe we will somehow narrow the divide.

“I want you

Yea, I want you

and nothing comes close

to the way that I need you

I wish I could feel your skin

and I want you

from somewhere within

Feels like there’s oceans between me and you once again….”



The guitar strumming start, to the song “Oceans”, is so simple, but then it gradually builds to a complex wave of surround sounds and vocal emotion. Their new EP, with the same name, (out a few days ago) sheds a light on the chemistry that they share in their creative craft of songwriting and belting out love songs that will make you melt. Seafret is a band that you need to put on your “stop what you are doing”, listen zone.

I know, I have.

Seafret is Jack Sedman (vocals)  and Harry Draper (guitar). They are an acoustic duo with powerful original music that speaks volumes. From the north-east of England they chose the name Seafret as a pun on the guitar fret board, but it’s also a local term which applies to the rolling mists that come in off the North Sea during the summer. Both the sons of men who have their names etched  in musical brilliance (Tom Waits and John Martyn), Seafret have begun to make their own unique, gifted mark.