Jeff London – Home – Split EP Series Vol. I

Jeff London
Home – Split EP Series Vol. I

Home is the first of 10 split CD EPs to be released on Post-Parlo Records, and it’s an interesting way to start the series. Neither Kind of Like Spitting nor Jeff London are going to pull in the mass audience, but that’s why I like the choice of these two artists for the first volume. Kicking it off quiet and simple is a nice touch, setting the stage for a series that seems to rely more on the value of the songs rather than well-known artists who are throwing away another song.
Kind of Like Spitting is really just Ben Barnett, and his two songs here are very consistent with the KOLS style, if you’ve heard them before. That’s right, quiet, singer/songwriter with a warbly voice playing an acoustic guitar. But, damn, his songs are good. “Beat Down the Kid” is very sparse, very simple, and KOLS’ beauty has always been in their simplicity. Barnett’s voice remains in control, which is most important when listening to his music. On “Grenada,” he adds some backing vocals which fill out the sound nicely. The song feels like Barnett is telling a story, and the production is better, making this the nicer of the two tracks. “I have to tell myself I’m having fun way too many times through the night,” Barnett sings. I’d take Kind of Like Spitting’s style of bare-bones rock any day over bands like Pedro the Lion.
Jeff London, another singer/songwriter from Portland, contributes two tracks that are similar in style to Kind of Like Spitting. However, while Barnett’s purpose seems to be making music as sparse and simple as possible, London adds in some keyboards and more consistent vocals throughout his songs. While his music is probably more accessible, it can be argued that Barnett’s vocal style delivers more sheer emotion. I still enjoy London’s songs here. The guitar is a bit more confident on “Happening to Me” without being too emphatic or pushy. But “Out of Reach” is the better of the two, a bit more folkish yet also more emotional and empassioned. I’ve only heard Jeff London on a Hush Records sampler before, but he’s made me a fan here.
These four songs, all similar in style and so pretty and moving, are a great way to kick off a series of split EPs, and I’m already excited about the next volume. Getting involved in this kind of thing early is always special, because you get beautiful packaging, limited editions (I’m 24/1000), and the feeling that you were involved since Day 1. Most importantly, you get the chance to find new artists and hear some wonderful music.