In times like these tenderness is hard to come by, but Jay Som’s “The Bus Song” offers three and half minutes of musical and visceral relief.
The music video, directed by Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast, sees the Oakland singer-songwriter and a company of neon-haired musicians traveling through town and arid hills, before ultimately arriving at a large body of water. A satisfying geographic juxtaposition on Zauner’s part, which is also really the only plot point of the video.
But that’s okay, because less is more when working with an artist like Jay Som, whose minimal musical approach could be threatened by overbearing visuals (the singer’s last video, “Baybee” is a dance routine set entirely in a chairlift). Ultimately, the star is the track itself. Melina Duterte’s soft voice delivers lyrics, “Why don’t we take the bus / you say you don’t like the smell / but I like the bus,” with enough simplistic earnesty to make your eyes water.