Jesse Malin today shares a new video for “State of the Art,” a nod to Kubrick, Barry Lyndon and Wes Anderson, filmed in an old mansion in Staten Island. Directed by Xander Strohm and Dave Stekert – the team behind Malin’s 2020 livestream series, the Fine Art of Self Distancing – the video stars Malin’s longtime band, Cat Popper, Derek Cruz, Rob Klores and drummer Randy Schrager, as a chef who serves up “the beets.”
“It was fun to go somewhere I didn’t even think existed,” says Malin. “It’s the first time we all reunited outside of downtown New York. This is a statement about how isolated we’ve been and getting lost in all the distractions that can be filtered into our homes while we’re overselling ourselves,” he laughs.
“My music has always been about rebirth and redemption,” says Malin, who wrote and recorded the upcoming double album Sad and Beautiful World to help get him through the chaos outside his apartment in New York City. “This album is for those who pick up the pieces and find beauty in the madness.”
Sad and Beautiful World will be out September 24 on Wicked Cool Records, and available for preorder here. The expanded vinyl edition of the album includes three bonus songs. Jesse and his band will be touring throughout 2021, including 11 UK dates and a show at London’s Garage on October 8. Tickets are on sale now.
The follow-up to 2019’s Sunset Kids, Malin’s acclaimed album produced by Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby, Sad and Beautiful World takes its title from a line of dialogue in Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 cult-classic film Down By Law. A lyric in the song “Almost Criminal” gives the double 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. But not everything is as black and white as the movies. All of Sad and Beautiful World is both tough and tender, laced through with vividly drawn characters striving against circumstance and a raw emotional tenor. The songs served up here will break your heart, move your hips, and keep the lights shining.
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 a 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.”
“Sad and Beautiful World” Tracklist
LP1: Roots Rock
Before You Go
State of the Art
Crawling Back to You
Tall Black Horses
Dance on My Grave
The Way We Used to Roll
Todd Youth (featuring H.R.)
A Little Death
Dance with the System
UK 2021 Tour Dates
Saturday, September 25 // London, Rough Trade East in-store (6pm)
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
Ticket information and additional 2022 tour dates can be found here