Making it as a musician today can require a heavy helping of DIY spirit, and Tommy Alexander has that in spades. It carried the Santa Barbara born musician all the way to Burlington, Vermont, where he founded Jenke Arts, a nonprofit artists’ collective and record label, and eventually all the way back west, where he found a new artistic home (at least for the moment) in Portland. Once in Portland, Alexander connected with producer Mike Coykendall, who has worked with a slew of indie darlings, including M. Ward, She and Him and Blitzen Trapper. Alexander skillfully juxtaposes the upbeat playfulness of jangling, honky-tonk leaning instrumentals with lyrics that ring of the sadness of a fading romance. Alexander’s vocals recall the earnest warble of Conor Oberst, but expand into a unique, infectious indie rock style all his own. His honest and heartfelt lyricism come to life in his songs which will strike a chord with you the very first listen.