Butcher the bar is the unusual name for Joel Nicholson who comes from Rotherham, UK. His folk pop sound is not necessarily unique, but could be considered a gateway to more adventurous and creative folk pathways for teenagers.
This album carries a similar pattern throughout with happy upbeat opening numbers (Sign your name, Bobby) but Nicholson’s style lacks a heartfelt approach. The extremely tight production does not provide a natural ambience until track 3, cradle song with organ and pub piano rattling away. The overwhelming feeling is that perhaps ‘A future tethered’ would sound better live?
Blood for the breeze moves in a more listenable direction, toning down Nicholson’s whiney vocals, through a respectable finger picking enthused piece.
The album does pick itself up after the accessible pop music opening, but it could be more appealing with a more Lo fi, rough and ready direction.
Silk Tilts introduces a banjo element while there are apparently car boot sale instruments that contemplate his experimentation throughout ‘A future tethered.’
Cornered to the cusp is another finger picking song that lays down Nicholson’s more appealing lower vocal tone, to the varied album which sets up the ending in the conclusive and uplifting piece Lullaby.
I hope Nicholson can heed the value of his contemporaries work and develop his obvious talent to a more charismatic, and dynamic sound. If you are looking for an easy listening pop folk album then this is an obvious choice.