Jesse Malin has shared his first double album of his career with Sad and Beautiful World through Wicked Cool Records. A collection of heartfelt and eloquent short stories that never lose their dirt and swagger, the record was forged in the lost pandemic year and takes its title from a line of dialogue in Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 cult-classic film Down By Law. It follows Malin’s much-praised album Sunset Kids (2019)produced by Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby and winner of three Independent Music Awards, and will be supported by a run of eleven UK shows in late September/early October 2021, including London’s Garage on Friday, October 8.  The expanded vinyl edition of the album includes three bonus songs, and is available here.

Listen to ‘Sad And Beautiful World’ here: 
View the visual for ‘Before You Go’ here:


Described by Uncut magazine as a “fearless storyteller,” followers have always appreciated the many sides of Malin, from his pioneer days in the hardcore band Heart Attack to D Generation and his solo career.  Sad and Beautiful World divides itself down the middle; a lyric in the song “Almost Criminal” giving the split record its theme: Roots Rock Radicals, Malin’s take on a phrase from the intersection of punk and reggae back in the day. The “Roots Rock” side leans to the sad-eyed ballads, while its companion, the “Radicals” side, roughs things up a bit. Both tough and tender, the album is laced through with vividly drawn characters striving against circumstance. 

“This one is for the survivors, the dreamers, the leavers and the believers,” says Malin, of his new double album, “My music has always been about rebirth and redemption. Sad and Beautiful World is for those who pick up the pieces and find beauty in the madness.”

At the heart of Sad and Beautiful World lies empathetic character sketches like “Todd Youth,” which features Bad Brains’ frontman H.R., a lifelong mentor to Jesse with his message of PMA (positive mental attitude), and “A Little Death,” a scathing but ultimately compassionate read.  Hearts are broken and hearts are full – sometimes both at once – as on the stark opener “Greener Pastures” or the rebel soul of “Dance With The System.”

Billie Joe Armstrong once said “New York City is the centre of the universe, and there is no New York City without Jesse Malin.”  Jesse masterfully sets the scene of his beloved hometown with the autobiographical “Backstabbers,” a coming-of-age tune about navigating through the city lights. Written in 2019, the slinky strut of “The Way We Used To Roll” now has an extra layer of meaning.  Both songs were produced by fellow roots-rock-radical Lucinda Williams, who also sings backup on “Backstabbers,” and her partner, Tom Overby.  The majority of Sad and Beautiful World was produced by Malin’s longtime guitarist Derek Cruz and Geoff Sanoff. 

Throughout 2020, Malin created and produced the celebrated weekly livestream series The Fine Art of Self Distancing to keep people connected worldwide and dancing on their couches.  The show raised money for independent national venues, his band, crew and the Joe Strummer Foundation, and was named one of the best of the year by Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone.

“When I was kid in Queens, my mother had a sign over the kitchen sink with a flower or something, that said ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life.’  I still feel that way. Growing up here, you find a way to carry your dreams up from the street and out to the stars.  I try hard to keep my sense of humour, community and always find a way to dance through the flames.”

UK Live Dates

Saturday, September 25 // London, Rough Trade East (Acoustic in-store signing)
Monday, September 27 // Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
Tuesday, September 28 // Newcastle, The Cluny
Wednesday, September 29 // Manchester, Night & Day Café
Thursday, September 30 // Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
Saturday, October 2 // Leek, The Maude
Sunday, October 3 // Sheffield, The Greystones
Tuesday, October 5 // Bristol, The Fleece
Wednesday, October 6 // Leicester, The Musician
Thursday, October 7 // Nottingham, Metronome
Friday, October 8 // London, The Garage
Saturday, October 9 // Hassocks, Mid Sussex Music Hall

Follow Jesse Malin / Instagram / Twitter

Previous article
Next article

More From Author


Popular Posts

Latest Gig Reviews

Latest Music Reviews


Band Of The Day