video: "Ghost" - Jay Som

words: Katryn Macko

It’s easy to feel haunted by your past and be so removed from those memories that the former version of yourself becomes unsettling to think about. Reminiscing is a slippery slope that can knock anyone on their ass and make them feel like a shell of who they used to be. But while recalling an earlier innocence can be painful, being calloused can help you prepare for whatever the world might throw your way in the future.

Melina Duterte, the Oakland-based mastermind behind Jay Som, has released a video for her new song “Ghost”, which was recently released on a collection of “finished and unfinished” tracks called Turn Into. Directed by Neil Davis and starring Amanda Rodriguez, the video for “Ghost” begins with a person looking through old photos, amidst a clutter of ripped ones. They litter the floor and bed, and the subject adds to the mess by slowly tearing even more. The setting is perfectly paired with the lo-fi yet sunken tone of the song, and the dull colors contribute to the feeling of nostalgia as the figure falls back into bed and opens their eyes to see a forest, with the ground illuminated by mysterious blue lights. The subject wanders into the woods and blinks their eyes in time with a single guitar strum, when they happen to stumble upon a small box surrounded by candles on a tree stump like a tiny shrine. An old teddy bear and picture frame with a collage of the destroyed photos watch the person reach for the box to find a mirror, and in that moment the scene quickly jump cuts to disorient the viewer. As the fever dream ends, the scene slows, the camera returning to the subject in bed, staring up at the ceiling. The entirety of the video perfectly illustrates the eerie sensation of being too deep in thought and lost in nostalgia, which is all too relatable as the year comes to a close.