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Boomkat Product Review:
Joel Nicholson’s first album under the Butcher the Bar moniker ‘Sleep At Your Own Speed’ came out three years ago now, and was a triumph of calm, bedroom-produced pop music. Elliott Smith is usually the name that comes to mind when talking about Nicholson’s songs, but this time around he sounds invigorated and fresh, and ‘For Each a Future Tethered’ is a collection of his best songs to date. There is an air of distinct Englishness about his music, and at times when Nicholson loses himself I’m reminded of Nick Drake, which isn’t a comparison I’m prepared to bandy about loosely. The songs here feel far more assured than those on his debut, and while there are plenty of fans who will no doubt lament the loss of that bedroom sound, the songs will surely win them over in the end. There is almost an orchestral quality to Nicholson’s writing, and while he never goes into Arcade Fire territory, the lilting compositional edge bears favorable comparison to Sufjan Stevens or labelmates Seabear. ‘For Each a Future Tethered’ is a gorgeous record, and for those of you who revel in unpretentious, summer pop music I can’t think of many albums better suited to sitting out on the grass, Clarityn in tow with a pork pie and a glass of Pimm’s. Jingle jangle.