If alternative and challenging culture needed a mecca, one need look no further than Portland. From the legacy of Riot Grrl, Matt Groening's take on American suburbia and Chuck Palahniuk's defining work springs Laura Gibson, whose waltz-imbued 'Nightwatch' brings to mind staticky super-8 films of fun in snowy parks and coffee by dappled light. The four tracks on her Myspace challenge Bright Eyes' 'I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning' for the crown of exquisitely-interpreted acoustic Americana, and her voice laps with natural nonchalance such that Kate Nash only wishes she could accomplish. The sepia fanfare on 'Come By Storm' wouldn't sounds incongruous on a Sufjan Stevens album, nor Nina Nastasia. Luckily for us, she's playing in London in December, so there's no need to buy a ticket to Portland for the pilgrimage.