Week #2 – Butcher The Bar
Butcher The Bar, aka Joel Nicholson and his band’s inevitable comparison to Elliott Smith is an apt one for sure. The gentle, hushed vocal delivery heard on their recordings is certainly not a million miles away from that of Smith’s. But, unlike the majority of Elliott Smith’s work, Butcher The Bar’s most recent album “For Each a Future Tethered” provides an undercurrent of optimism and a light, playful cheeriness nodding to acts such as Kings of Convenience and Belle and Sebastian. On “Bobby”, it may be those stabs of brass that provide the colour and warmth, and the clap-along snare rhythm or the descending piano motif in the second verse that eludes to a carefree playfulness that never fails to crack a smile on my face. Whatever it may be, the result is consistently effective and honestly warm and wholesome. Have a listen for yourself:
Butcher The Bar, is the stage name for Joel Nicholson from Rotherham, UK. He makes folk-pop songs using his guitars and a number of instruments bought from flea markets and car boot sales. 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, melodica, banjo, and accordion to address coming-of-age themes. For sophomore recording For Each a Future Tethered, released in 2011, the addition of horns, reeds, and piano culminated in lush arrangements in the vein of Australian indie pop trio the Lucksmiths.