LA-based alt-pop outfit the black watch present their new single ‘Crying All The Time’, which is out on Friday, November 22. This is the first taste of their new ‘Brilliant Failures’ album, which is set to release in late January via the well-reputed European label A Turntable Friend Records.
“Crying All the Time is a bit ironic on account of I NEVER cry,” says the black watch frontman John Andrew Fredrick. “It was written about someone whom I used to love–about whom it was reported to me that ‘She’s wept so much she really lost her looks.’ Which made me very sad–if indeed it were true. I think I wrote the song, therefore, out of compassion for all the cryers, as it were. And to use the word ‘perfidious’ for the first time, perhaps, in a pop song!”
The accompanying video was filmed and directed by renowned American director Steve Hanft (The Stone Roses, Beck, Mercury Rev, L7) and stars beautiful actress Katlyn Rodriguez. The theme of this video is inspired by My Bloody Valentine ‘Soon’.
‘Brilliant Failures’ is the lickety-split follow-up to ‘Magic Johnson’, released in spring 2019. This has been a busy year for TBW, who also released the compilation ’31 Years Of Obscurity: The Best of the black watch: 1988-2019′ in June, as well as the 7″ single ‘Much of a Muchness’ in October.
This is the 18th long-play from this artist in 31 years—and it’s quite possibly the best thing they’ve ever done. Principal songwriter and novelist John Andrew Fredrick thinks indeed that it’s the best record TBW will ever do. That’s saying a lot, considering the consistently high praise that’s been lavished on this stalwart indie band.
“Much as we love to play gigs, we love the studio tenfold more. And, going about with this sort of mindset wherein we’re telling ourselves ‘Of course we’re going to make a record after this one, and one after that and after that one as well!’, we kind of just carried on thinking that we were going to be around for a long, long time, and that each record was going to be a reaction against its predecessor. So naturally we lived for the studio and never questioned whether there would be another one,” says John Andrew Fredrick.
For ‘Brilliant Failures’, Fredrick presented acoustic versons of multiple new songs to Scott Campbell (Acetone, Carina Round, Stevie Nicks), Rob Campanella (The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mystic Braves)and Andy Creighton (The World Record), and then let each of them do what-they-wilt to the tracks, putting their own singular stamps on these songs, whether that meant embellishing them or stripping them down, tripping things out or playing things straight.
“It was a really effective way to go. Effortful on Scott’s and Rob’s and Andy’s parts; effortless on mine. The test of any artistic relationship, I think, is whether one would be keen to work with someone again. And I can safely say I would love to do another record this way,” says Fredrick.
“I never know how to describe what we do without resorting to referencing the Beatles and My Bloody Valentine—especially the twelve-stringy stuff before ‘Isn’t Anything’ was released. I’m a very careful lyricist, but lyrics, for me, aren’t poetry, per se. I try to use plain diction as poetically as possible—if that makes sense.”
The new LP also features several guest artists, the first cameos on a TBW record since Pat Fish (The Jazz Butcher) guested on two songs on 2002’s ‘Jiggery-Pokery’ LP.
On November 22, ‘Crying All The Time’ will be available across music stores and streaming platforms such as Spotify. It will also be available via Bandcamp. The full ‘Brilliant Failures’ album will be released on January 24.
John Andrew Fredrick – guitars, vocals, percussion, bass, keyboards
Andy Creighton – lead guitar, bass, drums
Scott Campbell – bass, guitar, keyboards
Rob Campanella – guitar, bass, percussion, mellotron
All songs written by John Andrew Fredrick
Produced & engineered by Scott Campbell, Rob Campanella and Andy Creighton