Young Jesus Shares “Brenda & Diane,” Announces New Album

Young Jesus – the brainchild of John Rossiter – announces the release of the new album, The Fool (Saddle Creek) which will be out on May 24, 2024 and shares the album’s lead single “Brenda & Diane” alongside a video directed by Dillon Cullinan and starring Tommy Midnight. Also released is a companion track from the album sessions entitled “Hollywood Ending.” 

Songs started to form, songs about shame and grief, love and redemption. They came fast, a song a day for two weeks. It was different from past albums, which felt like years of hammering out lyrics and ideas. Rossiter had to sit and transcribe without judgment: let the ideas grow on their own. Shahzad was in LA one day when John sat down at the piano and played them for him. They decided to record them at Shahzad’s Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn – these songs would blossom into Young Jesus’ forthcoming album, The Fool.

The track arrives following December’s “The Weasel,” which appeared on the soundtrack of Brit Marling and Zal Batmangli’s FX show Murder At The End of The World and also appears on the new LP. Where that song walked further down an aesthetic path established on YJ’s well-received 2022 LP Shepherd Head, “Brenda & Diane” breaks new ground. Relating an encounter with a pair of down-on-their-luck drifters, the track pairs Bruce Springsteen-style subject matter and bombast, with a vocal performance from Rossiter that would do The Boss proud with its power and passion, while conveying a haunted vulnerability that sets it apart. 

Says Rossiter:

The best part of this tune is the strings. Alex Babbitt arranged the strings and his parents, Frank and Cornelia, played cello and violin on it. Around that time, Frank had become very sick. 

A couple months later, I was visiting family in Chicago over Thanksgiving. I went to the church I grew up going to with Alex and his brother Ben Babbitt. Ben played organ (pipes throughout the church!) and Alex and I sang, standing at opposite ends of the church. Improvising. We really grew into our voices in there, everything became so resonant, swirling. When we finished we knew we were present for something very special. We reached places vocally and emotionally that we don’t get to often. A few months later, Frank passed. This song is dedicated to the memory of Frank Babbitt.