Earlier this year, Jay Som, a.k.a. singer, songwriter Melina Detente released her wildly praised debut record, Everybody Works on Polyvinyl and Double Denim records and Monday night, Jay Som the band rolled into Atlanta to play in Purgatory at Masquerade with Nashville-via-NYC band, Soccer Mommy and Detroit’s own, Stef Chura.
Soccer Mommy, essentially a vehicle for singer and songwriter Sophie Allison captivated the crowd from the very start. With just 2 guitars, bass and drums, the band wove some wonderfully lush arrangements brought to life by atmospheric guitar lines. Sophie’s sophisticated chord progressions were all topped off with jangly, 90s indie-rock and vocal hints of bands like Blake Babies and Velocity Girl. Their self-described “chill but kinda sad bedroom jams” really took on extra energy in front of the attentive crowd but the band stayed true to form as Sophie performed 2 beautiful solo songs to close out their set, “Allison” and an unnamed new song that may have been the best one of their set. Check out their excellent new record, Collection, It’s quickly become one of our favorites.
Stef Chura and her band took over the stage next and what was immediately clear, was the presence, strength and range of Stef’s vocals. Both gravely and sweet, Stef yelped and crooned through complex arrangements and wonderful melodies while weaving intricate guitar lines and phrases over the top of her rock solid rhythm section. Fans of Throwing Muses and Kristen Hersh would immediately find a kinship in Stef’s style of songwriting and vocal delivery, both personally compelling and lyrically engaging.
After a really quick break, Jay Som strolled on the stage, tuned up and launched straight into their set with a wink and a smile, and almost before anyone knew, they launched into a fantastic hour-plus set of tunes heavily pulling from Everybody Works, in addition to some deeper cuts from previous records and singles.
Nodding and smiling they had the knowing crowd singing (“But I like the bus!”) and swaying along to every tune. The band, clearly enjoying themselves on stage, struck some rockstar poses, and engaged with the audience quite a bit, including a quick Q&A of their favorite Georgia bands. “Deerhunter! Mothers! B52’s!” An hour and change flew by and with all the hits delivered the band said goodnight and the house lights came up quick.
Check out John McNicholas’ photo from Jay Som, Stef Chura and Soccer Mommy at Masquerade – 9/25/2017: