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” matches this atmosphere. It sounds a little like Elliott 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. - Clemens Niedenthal
Edited by alameda_ on 27 Jun 2011, 14:13
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