Jeff London
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Jeff London


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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Jeff London @ Petes Candy Store

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

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JEFF LONDON—The Bane of Progress (Hush)

There’s songs are thematically connected in a way that appeals to me greatly. Maybe it’s the universal quality of the general theme—we’re all moving from city to city, trying to get a handle on the world and where we fit, right? Or maybe it’s how pristinely these friendly, articulate folk-pop songs were recorded, giving the album the peaceful glow of a sunset. - BIg

It’s an eternal theme, country living vs city living, and the final two songs on Jeff London’s new album The Bane of Progress sum up the dilemma, in feeling, perfectly. In a city as bullet-ridden, but still classically ideal in some ways, as Philadelphia, I can’t help but be charmed by the chorus of the ‘city’ song: “I don’t want to live with a flak jacket on / but I like the view of the skyline.” Of course the song is about more than just cities: about the more general question of positioning oneself in places, in life, in relation to others. The country song -- um, “Country Song” – is large in scope too, smartly fighting off that ridiculous mentality of the city as blue/liberal/enlightened, the country as red/conservative/backwards.

These two songs are part of the greater push and pull in the album, summed up by the title, The Bane of Progress. These are songs about feeling stuck, making choices, trying to connect with other people. They’re about email and text messages making you feel less connected to others, not more (“no amount of bandwidth can substitute for touch”), about how a perfect view can make everything seem better, even if it’s not; about placing memories of the past in the context of the present and imagined future, about trying to relate to another person but being continually just out of step, about the how people hurt each other in the process of searching for happiness.

But besides just thoughtfully (poetically but directly) articulating feelings and experiences familiar to us free-floating, seeking humans, these songs stun and seduce with their form and style. More precisely, with a crisp, pretty, folk-pop sound: elegant, occasionally jazz piano meeting rustic guitar, pedal steel, violin and atmospheres. And London’s voice sounding so pure amidst it all. This is soothing, comforting music, but also filled with questions, with restlessness.

- Eraasing clouds


Uneasy-cassette-Jealous Butcher
Col. Summers Park-CD-HUSH
Harms Way-CD-self-released
the Bane of Progress-CD-HUSH
many compilations, itunes and last fm presence



Influenced by NW songwriters Elliot Smith and Damien Jurado and bands like Grandaddy, Jeff has most certainly developed his own style. After moving to the NW in 1995, night after night he played alone in the coffeeshop cabaret circuit of late nineties PDX. Hot cocoa night at the Meow Meow was a "Sunday- Night-Pass-the-guitar" thing that got him further into the "share and talk" feel of his shows. College teaching and his Jewish borscht belt humor further got in the mix and influenced both his personal songwriting and banter. Northwest showdates with Damien Jurado, the Decemberists and M. Ward led to a national tour with Birddog in support of 2003's "Harm's Way". Jeff came back to his HUSH records family with 2007's "the Bane of Progress," which one writer touted as one of the ten best records you've missed on '07. It depicted his move to NYC in all its unsettling uncertainty. Now firmly settled in to the Brooklyn music scene, Jeff recently held court at Pete's Candy Store for the inaugural Northside Music Festival, with a slew of new songs. There is no doubt plenty on the horizon to see from Mr. London indeed.