One of the high points of Jesse Malin’s latest album Sunset Kids is his duet with Lucinda Williams, “Dead On.” Williams produced the album with her husband-manager Tom Overby and lends her harmonies and songwriting to a number of tracks, but it’s “Dead On” that stands as the LP’s proper duet.
A gritty, scuzzed-up guitar number, it’s reflective of the vibe on Williams’ own upcoming album, Good Souls Better Angels, out Friday. “Recording ‘Dead On’ with Lucinda was one of the funnest and loosest parts of making the Sunset Kids album,” Malin says. “I heard it as if the Stooges met CCR, in some dirty little bar in America, and Lucinda knew just what to do with it. She brought the attitude, the sleaze and a great sense humor to it. I still smile every time I hear it.”
Both Malin and Williams get the cartoon treatment in a new video for the song that calls to mind the Ramones’ 1995 animated video for “Spider-Man.” All gangly arms and legs, Malin, Williams, and his band perform the track against a colorful cityscape. Alex Rosas, a graphic designer and artist, animated the clip.
Earlier this month, Malin released the song “Backstabbers,” the first taste of his next album, Lust for Love, due out this year via Wicked Cool Records. While in quarantine, the New York songwriter has been hosting weekly livestream shows dubbed “The Fine Art of Self-Distancing” to raise money for his band, crew and local bartenders — this Saturday he’ll perform his 2003 debut album The Fine Art of Self-Destruction in its entirety.
Williams, meanwhile, is gearing up for the release of her new LP Good Souls Better Angels, led by the Trump indictment “Man Without a Soul.”