Something for the weekend: Jesse Malin “Before You Go”

We leave you this week dear reader with a double bill from the so-good-we’re-featuring-him-twice-in-one-day Jesse Malin who we chatted to earlier today about his new double album ‘Sad and Beautiful World’, out on Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records (our review will be published next week and spoiler alert, we quite like it…), and now you can listen to one of the standout tracks ‘Before You Go’. While the album’s predecessor ‘Sunset Kids‘ was cut in L.A. with the input of Williams and Overby, ‘Sad and Beautiful World’ was conceived closer to home at Flux Studios in the East Village, just a few steps from Malin’s apartment. With his longtime guitarist Derek Cruz and engineer Geoff Sanoff producing and no looming deadline because of the pandemic, Malin was free to roam. He revisited songs he wrote for ‘Sunset Kids’, indulged a nagging desire to cover Tom Petty’s ‘Crawling Back to You,’ and wrote notebooks full of new material. When it came time to put it all together, a double album made the most sense.

“We were looking at some of our favorite bands like the Clash. They released London Calling and, it’s like, wow, what are you going to do next year? And Sandinista came out! They put out three records after a double just a year later,” he says.

The album is split into two themes — one disc is a collection of more rootsy fare, the other leans toward rock, with traces of Malin’s punk and hardcore past life. “The album is about finding peace somewhere, somehow,” Malin says, “and seeing the beauty in the darkness.” He’s troubled by the divisiveness he sees, not just in U.S. politics but in his own artist circle. “What feels even crazier in this world and in this country is that it’s not that the left and the right don’t agree, but the people in our community — the artists, the musicians, the outsiders — are not on the same page. That’s scary and feels really disheartening.” And on that thought, have a good one!

About Mark Whitfield 2026 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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