In The Red is proud to announce the second solo album from Cheap Time front man Jeffrey Novak. This album was on the shelves for several years where it aged like a fine wine, and the results are the audio equivalent of an excellent Amontillado.
Novak is the rock underworld’s most adept chameleon. Take one look at the Tennessee man’s band history and you’ll see a series of quick genre switches. There was the one-man garage band record under his given name back in 2005, the classic ’77 trash-punk of Rat Traps, and his current, most well-received project, the weirdo pop punk power trio Cheap Time. Between touring and recording with that band, Novak returned to the world of solo records.
His debut solo album, the self-released After the Ball, stroked all the remaining ’60s and ’70s rock fantasies he’d yet to tackle in his oeuvre. Baron in the Trees carries on in much the same tradition with Novak’s anglophilia on full display here—flashes on Syd Barrett, Ray Davies, Kevin Ayers, David Bowie and Sparks. There’s a fine line between homage and imitation and Novak straddles it with near-perfection; most importantly, he doesn’t look back and he writes in a quick enough manner to keep the naysayers eating dust.
Composed and recorded on piano with sparse bass, guitar, drums and strings at Jay Reatard’s Shattered Studios, Baron in the Trees also marks one of the last projects that Reatard participated in, having recorded, produced and played on the album. Much like Reatard’s own trajectory, Novak is not afraid to explore and expand his musical territories; Baron in the Trees leaves you excited to hear what might come next.