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Jeff London

What is it about Portland? Maybe the nonstop rain and gloom is the cause of all these strumming, yowling, indie singer-songwriters. Portland singer-songwriter Jeff London can strum and he can yowl, and while his thin tenor is a bit scratchy and tuneless, his guitar playing a little uneven, his music's lack of polish makes it all the more appealing. The approach certainly suits his straight-from-the-heart emotions and diarylike lyrics. In fact, London's intensely solitary introspection is so convincing, you're not even aware of other players on his songs, their presence quietly signaled by a brooding violin here, a touch of soft percussion there. All is wonderfully understated, providing a nice stage for London's flexible voice, not conventionally pretty by any stretch, but capable of a wide range of emotions.

London has been pursuing his art for a decade now. His full albums include Uneasy, Slowness (from which "Gina" and "Bills to Pay" are taken), and Col. Summers Park. "Happening to Me" comes from Home, a split CD with Kind of Like Spitting.