There’s a New Bachelor in Town (It’s Jay Som and Palehound’s Band)

Melina Duterte and Ellen Kempner release their first single together, “Anything at All,” via Polyvinyl.

It’s exciting to hear that there’s a new Bachelor in town—and even more exciting to hear that it’s completely unrelated to ABC’s reality TV series. This Bachelor is actually a band formed by Jay Som‘s Melina Duterte and Palehound‘s Ellen Kempner. The two musicians came together during breaks in their touring schedules—a rare occurrence in pre-quarantine times. Now the group is making their official debut with their first single “Anything at All,” a playful song of desire that turns rapturous.

Kempner explained how the song seamlessly came together one day on her stay with Duterte in LA. “One morning Melina was showering and had this bass line idea stuck in her head and went downstairs to play it,” she shared. “I came down from sleeping and joined in on drums and started recording what we were doing. As Melina continued being the magician she is and began adding more layers to the song, I wrote lyrics about queerness, longing, and fear and by the end of the day we had finished ‘Anything At All.'”

That sick bass line is indeed the first thing one notices on “Anything at All.” It’s the engine of the track, while crunchy, spiraling guitars accelerate its urgency like a carousel gone berserk. Like Kempner said, the lyrics hinge on the fine line of queer desire and anxiety of rejection. Kempner beautifully captures that balance of emotions, one potent line being, “When I talk there’s a devil / Making words so profane / And every dirty word becomes your name.” Kempner and Duterte’s vocals delightfully play off each other like shadows in a game of tag.

Listen below and follow the new band here for future news.


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