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Sleep At Your Own Speed

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Album Review

Butcher the Bar is the one-man band of Joel Nicholson, whose debut album can readily be summed up as a collection of songs greater than the sum of its parts. That may damn with faint praise, but Sleep at Your Own Speed, in its gentle blend of softly echoed vocals, guitar and other instruments, a bedroom recording par excellence, reminds one of nothing so much as the many albums released by Jim Rao aka Orange Cake Mix, each of which had its own calling card songs but which all tended to blend together as a blissfully sweet listen. That Nicholson has done the same here is no problem insofar as he's nailed his approach very well — two songs that appeared on an earlier single, "Get Away" and "Leave This Town," essentially set the dynamic for the album as a whole with little variation. Nicholson's understated singing, hint-of-shoegaze playing, and general sonic envelopment are familiar approaches from any number of performers, and Sleep at Your Own Speed should best be characterized as an enjoyable starting point rather than as a release that fully stands out. Given time, he may well start releasing some truly striking performances, but for now he shows promise, and that is enough.

Customer Reviews

intimate + emotional

let's just say these songs could inspire the next 'wes anderson' film

great album

Great album and would be a lot better if Itunes hadn't mest up the entire Cd, it glitches like every 10 seconds. So basically I just spent 10 dollars on a scratched up CD. Thanks Itunes!

A "Quiet Gem" all the critics exclaimed!

Pretty, hushed, sun dappled...exactly what you'd expect from a band named "Butcher the Bar" right? (wink) Not at all bad for what it is, though these blokes definitely owe a VERY large tip of the hat to Mr. Elliott Smith! Not that that's a bad thing. If you like Elliott, you'll probably like this, which I do, but I still have to say that the whole "hushed voice" vocal inflection thing employed here does start to feel a bit put-upon after a while. Also, there seems to be a lot of sloppy encoding going on with a number of the songs (i.e., lots of digital hiccups), which is quite the bummer. Would have liked to have purchased a few more of their songs, but oh well.

Biography

Formed: 2007 in Rotherham, UK

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Butcher the Bar is the nom de plume of indie folk singer/songwriter Joel Nicholson. Based in Rotherham, United Kingdom, his thoughtfully crafted melodies are augmented by his gentle vocals, reminiscent of a more hopeful Elliott Smith. He began writing songs for Butcher the Bar in 2007, debuting that year with a 7" including the song "Get Away," later featured in an episode of the action-comedy TV series Chuck. Full-length debut Sleep at Your Own Speed followed in 2008, finding Nicholson on guitar,...
Full Bio
Sleep At Your Own Speed, Butcher the Bar
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