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Bachelor – Doomin’ Sun (Polyvinyl Record Co.)

Bachelor
28 May 2021

What happens when two gifted introverts team up? If things go well, the result might be Doomin’ Sun, from the inventive duo Bachelor. Melina Duterte makes sweetly empathetic bedroom pop as Jay Som; Ellen Kempner, who records as Palehound, cultivates her own intimate vibe, shaped by subtly thrilling electric guitar. Their lovely collaboration is a gentle, idiosyncratic gem, marked by fleeting vignettes and private desires reluctantly expressed, from poignant tales of loneliness (“Talk to the moon just to have a friend”) to angsty relationship dramas (“If I can’t have my own back/How the fuck can I have yours?”). Apart from a few reference points – the soft-loud-soft Pixies dynamic of “Stay in the Car,” the George Harrison-like riffs in “Sick of Spiraling” – Bachelor feels like its own distinctive self, a tantalizing mixture of spectral voices and emotional urgency that’s impossible to pigeonhole.