One of the highlights of Jesse Malin’s quarantined livestream series, The Fine Art of Self-Distancing, has been his cover of Tom Petty’s “Crawling Back to You,” a track off of Petty’s 1994 LP, Wildflowers. Malin saw Petty perform the song at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017 — at what would be Petty’s final show.
“I’d seen him before, but this was like magic,” Malin told Rolling Stone during an interview for his latest album, Sunset Kids. “That night under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl, he went into ‘Crawling Back to You,’ and the last verse — ‘Most things I worry about/Never happen anyway’ — he just leaves that line hanging in the air. It felt really good hearing that. It was so comforting. So I started playing that song a whole bunch.”
Malin recorded his version of “Crawling Back to You” as a B side to his new single, “Backstabbers” (out via Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records), and filmed himself in L.A. for a video directed by Joseph Quever. He’ll release a new album, Lust for Love, sometime in 2021.
Along with the new video, the New York City songwriter (and bar owner) has announced that his livestream series will return with a new format that mixes music with interviews. Malin will chat with artists, filmmakers, and authors like Debbie Harry, Craig Finn, Alexander Escovedo, and Graham Parker from his bar, Berlin. Lucinda Williams, who co-produced Malin’s Sunset Kids, is the first guest on an episode that premieres Saturday, May 23rd, at 4 p.m. ET on YouTube.