Butcher the Bar: Sleep at Your Own Speed (Vinyl LP)
Morr Music / M.M.
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This is the debut full-length release by Britain's Joel Nicholson for Morr Music. He has described the cast list of his intimate band as me and my bedroom. in Manchester, the songs of Butcher the Bar fill a small house, but soon these walls won't be the only ones in which they live. Make this house a home could be the phrase that matches this atmosphere. He sounds a little like Elliot Smith, with the persuasive power of his carefully-crafted chords and the immediacy of his softly-spoken vocals. An artist like Joel Nicholson would have been called a singer-songwriter before this word became a catch-all phrase. In the meantime, quiet is STILL the new loud and home-cooked tracks are still the tastiest and most comforting of all. Sleep at Your Own Speed is a coming-of-age novel consisting of 13 short stories. Getaway, for instance, is a declaration of woe to a city that used to be home once, Ball Point Skin Notes illustrates the forlornness of youth, and Leave Town is as exuberant as a pop song can be. An acoustic guitar, a banjo, a warm, direct voice. Lyrics such as I leave town tonight, if only western civilization feels alright... point to the singer's earnestness and yearning for universal understanding. Melancholy, deceleration and reduction are Joel Nicholson's musical topics. Folk and post-folk, old and new heroes (Nick Drake, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens), searching, finding and finally letting go. Get Away, Sex Szene, Gumble, You Know Everything, House/Home, New Nest, Opening Night, Bike, Leave This Town, Head's Contents, Ball Point Skin Notes, Boy You Miss the Most, Rounds