Jay Som and Justus Proffit bring their fresh new sound to Great Scott

Jay Som
featuring Justus Proffit

December 9, 2018 at Great Scott

Since her debut album Everybody Works, Jay Som– real name Melina Duterte– has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the hottest indie rock artists of this past year. After a year of touring, she returned to California and met singer and songwriter Justus Proffit. Soon after their meeting, a five track EP was made, and a short eight show tour was booked for the duo.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from their collaboration when I headed to this show. Was it going to be Justus opening for Jay Som, and them doing the last few songs together, or would it be the two of them doing an acoustic show together? What I ended up getting was a full-band combo with both of them switching vocals.

Boston noise band Kal Marks took the stage as the opener– an interesting choice, since noise rock doesn’t usually go with bedroom pop. Their songs were loud and heavy, which is definitely not something I thought I would be hearing that night, and it definitely left my ears ringing after their set.

The show was much shorter than I expected it to be at only thirty minutes, and the majority of the show ended up being their EP Nothing’s Changed. With a mix between indie rock, garage rock, country, and bedroom pop, the EP covers a lot of material in its few tracks. They began their set with their track ‘Nothing Has Changed.’ This song has a mixed feeling containing all those genres that I mentioned before. This was a great start, and an indication of how the rest of the night was going to be a mix of everything they had.

In addition to playing through the EP, each artist added two songs from their own discography to lengthen the set. Justus added a brand-new original song he wrote while on tour, while Jay Som added her big hit ‘The Bus Song.’ ‘The Bus Song’ was definitely the biggest song of the night, getting the crowd together to sing along with the band.

My personal favorite moment of the night was when the duo played ‘Tunnel Vision’ from their EP. While I listened to the EP multiple times before the show, nothing really prepared me for how this song would play out live. With Duterte’s looping guitars and two other guitars putting in all their effects, the group created one of the greatest crescendos I have ever heard.  

Even though their set was short and mostly comprised of material that the crowd didn’t seem too familiar with, Jay Som and Justus Proffit were able to show how well a mix of all these genres can work.

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