The Jess Novak Band – Album Review


jessEclectic.  That is perhaps the best word one can use to describe The Jess Novak Band and their new album, “Inches from the Sun.”   Take the first track, “With Me or Not” for example.  The trio, fronted by accomplished singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jess Novak, transitions seamlessly from one beat to the next, by blending up-tempo funk with bluesy pop soul.  This song, like the band itself, cannot be narrowly defined by a particular genre.  Instead, the group mixes a helping of country and soul, with a handful of rock and blues, adds a dash of Lindsey Stirling and a pinch of Florence + the Machine to create something all their own.

Several songs on this album exhibit an incredibly soulful side of Novak, who not only sings but also plays the violin and guitar on this album as well.  The tune “Told You So” has a slower, jazzy feel, reminiscent of Amy Winehouse during her ‘Frank’ years.  Likewise, the piano driven ballad “I’d Rather Be with You” shows quiet reflection and honesty that listeners will easily be able to relate to.  No track however, compares to “Climb the Stairs.”  This is that song that drives you into one of those “Listen, Cry, Repeat” cycles.  Three times during this song, Novak sings in her raspy, heart shattering voice, “You worship the me you want to see. I’m missing the man you said you would be.”  By the third and last time she utters these words, you’re already wanting to call that person you had to break it off with years ago because you had a lot on your plate and the time and just weren’t quite ready to commit.  It takes a powerful songwriter to create something that makes you both love them and damn them for making you feel feelings you didn’t feel like feeling, and this track accomplishes that hefty feat.

Despite trying to make you cry just a little bit though, the band can also get down and does know how to rock.  Title track “Inches from the Sun” is the bad girl anthem of the album and features a sweet guitar solo, while “Kissed Goodnight,” the violin infused contemporary track is cool, sexy, and one of most infectious on the record.

Overall, “Inches from the Sun” will appeal to a lot of different people who enjoy a wide number of genres.  The music is well crafted, the song writing is vulnerable and the vocals are outstanding.  Fans of Elle King or Colbie Cailat will automatically fall in love The Jess Novak Band, but listeners of jazz, blues, country, funk, or soul should definitely give the band a listen … even if it does mean shedding a tear or two.



[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”center” width=”” float=”none”]The Jess Novak 4-1-1
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Kelly Mason / The Fuze Magazine


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