Posted April 12, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Mark Mallman Gets Funky on First New Album in Five Years

Mark Mallman Photo by Alexandria Harland
Mark Mallman Photo by Alexandria Harland

Singer-songwriter Mark Mallman just finished recording Happiness, his first album in five years. He also recently released a video for the title track and announced an April 29 livestream show to support the new album via NoonChorus.

“A happy video feels like a hyperpop sugar rush or a birthday cake,” says Mallman in a press release. “The video has folks moving in the street from all over the world to celebrate through music and dancing. This is the funky merger. It’s a bop!” 

Mallman has also started a Kickstarter campaign to pay for a special yellow 140-gram vinyl versions of Happiness. Athens, GA-based Kindercore Records, a boutique plant known throughout the industry for its gold standard vinyl, will produced the vinyl, and Jesse Magnum has handled the remastering for vinyl. The link to the vinyl can be found here

Happiness is a companion to Mallman’s uplifting memoir, The Happiness Playlist: The True Story of Healing My Heart With Feel-Good Music. The book follows Mallman’s listening to nothing but a playlist of 50 feel-good songs for an entire Minnesota winter. His goal was to process the “crushing grief and anxiety” following the suicide of his mother.

Published in 2019, the book includes a foreword by writer/critic Chuck Klosterman. The album is a collection of material he wrote while writing and touring the book as well as one year after. Like the book, it explores the “depth of emotions of the human experience,” staring happy at track one to loss and devastation by track eleven.

John Fields (Jonas Brothers), Aaron Cupping (Tropical Fuck Storm) and Adrian Olsen (Foxygen) all lent a hand in the recording process and helped with mixing. The psychedelic ballad “We Are We” features a guest guitar by Deerhoof member Ed Rodriguez.

Photo credit: Alexandria Harland


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].