Video: The Black Watch, ‘Brilliant Failures’

The Black Watch

What’s one more album between friends?

“Brilliant Failures” is the title track to the Black Watch’s 18th long-player and sixth in the past six years (not counting two compilations).

Like its predecessors, the album is brought to you by unstoppable-since-1988 singer-songwriter John Andrew Fredrick and his merry band of enablers, on this outing Rob Campanella, Andy Creighton and Scott Campbell. Like its predecessors, it’s snap-crackle-pop indie-rock, alternately jangling and fuzzy, in the vein of U.K. luminaries such as the Soft Boys and Wedding Present and most of the Flying Nun Records catalog. Like its predecessors, it’s narrated by an author of five books who can rhyme “serious/imperious/weariness/delirious” (“Crying All the Time”) and not have it sound like a reach. And like its predecessors, it’s incrementally different.

That Fredrick titled an album “Brilliant Failures” immediately after releasing a compilation titled “31 Years of Obscurity” certifies he has a firm grasp on reality. If anyone has earned the right to be irascible, it would be he. Yet here he is in the title track, noting “There’s beauty in one’s each defeat / without it life seems incomplete.”

“I think the greatest thing about being an artist is the perpetual mystery,” Fredrick says. “And it’s nowhere if not present — that unknown factor — on this record because I really, really did not have any idea how the songs would turn out. It’s no wonder that music writers often want to get at the secret of how things come about. Me, I expressly don’t want to know how things come to me! I want to remain in the dark. It’s quiet there, in the dark. And you can dream away all you want — whole worlds. That’s what ‘Brilliant Failures’ is, I think: a world. And one we’re terribly thrilled to offer to people to explore.”

Originally scheduled for a January release, “Brilliant Failures” is out March 27 via A Turntable Friend Records.

Ian Holmes fashioned a video of foibles for “Brilliant Failures.”

||| Watch: The video for “Brilliant Failures”

||| Previously: “Crying All the Time,” “Get Me Out of Echo Park,” “Julie,” “Georgette, Georgette,” “Way Strange World,” our 2015 interview.