You know you're in for a treat when the first thing you hear when you put on a record is the sound of crickets. This one is no exception. Swift produced one of my favorite records from last year, Damien Jurado's Saint Bartlett, but lately I've been pretty obsessed with his own compositions. Reminiscent of a Smile/Song Cycle-era Van Dyke Parks, The Novelist is a very big album with a perfect mixture of chamber pop, americana, and hazy psychedelia. Echoes of Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Gershwin...Swift did all the songwriting, production, vocals, artwork, and played just about all the instruments (and there are a lot of them) on the album. "Lovely Night" and & "Looking Back..." are good places to start with this record.