Butcher the Bar

morr 082 

Butcher The Bar
Sleep At Your Own Speed

out: 02.05.2008

Butcher The Bar: Sleep At Your Own Speed

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Sleep At Your Own Speed

Joel Nicholson has just packed the removal cases, his guitar and the instruments. It's good that his music is so easy to transport from one place to another, between the places and to the people. Once, the 22-year-old Briton 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 now. But soon these walls won't be the single ones in which they live.
"Make this house a home" maches this atmosphere. It sounds a little like Elliot Smith, the chords' persuasive power, the immediacy of the softly spoken words. An artist like Joel Nicholson would have been called a singer / songwriter when this word had not become an overall label by now. In the meantime quiet was the new loud - in the case of Joel Nicholson it has stayed the old quiet. One is allowed to call it authenticity. But the times when artists did foolish things in order to write small big pop songs afterwards belong definitely to the past. Says Joel Nicholson.
"Sleep at your own speed" tells about it once again. The album is a coming-of-age novel consisting of thirteen short stories. "Getaway", for instance, this declaration of woes to a city that used to be home once - "It used to be a good place". Or "Ball Point Skin Notes", this weightless forlornness of youth. "Leave Town" finally is that reduced and at the same time as exuberant as a pop song can be. An acoustic guitar, a banjo, a warm, direct voice. "I leave town tonight, if only western civilisation feels alright."
Melancholy, deceleration and reduction are Joel Nicholson's musical topics. Folk and postfolk, old and new heroes (Nick Drake, Paul Simon but also Sufjan Stevens), searching, finding and letting go.

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