Rock & Roll Globe is proud to premiere the latest video from the Santa Barbara indie pop institution’s adventurous new EP
Since its launch in 1987, the black watch has existed in the spirit of The Fall or Guided By Voices in that this Santa Barbara, California, outfit has centered itself around one sole proprietor in John Andrew Fredrick.
The music he creates as the black watch is distinctively West Coast yet gleams an undeniable element of New Romanticism. Like if Scott Walker made albums with Modern English or something to that degree.
The truth is Fredrick is a fantastic and ridiculously underrated songwriter, and fans of this new 80s revivalism should have this cat on their radar. His latest album d/b/a the black watch is the recently released Fromthing Somethat, the 19th album under the band’s name. Listen to this record, recorded with arguably Fredrick’s strongest lineup yet, featuring Rob Campanella on bass a d keyboards, Andy Campanella on drums and multi-instrumentalist Andy Creighton.
It was quickly followed up with a new EP in late November, The Nothing That Is, on ATOM Records. And Rock & Roll Globe is thrilled to premiere the video for the new set’s obvious centerpiece “For Every Hair That’s Hurt I’ll Stop A Heart,” which finds Frederick doubling down on his 80s synthpop kick in the spirit of a commercial free block of lost favorites on Long Island’s sorely missed modern rock station WLIR/WDRE.
“We had such a lovely time in the studio doing the dance song that a dance mix seemed only too fitting,” Fredrick told Rock & Roll Globe. “So we let Scott Campbell have a crack at it, carte blanche, do-what-thou-wilt sort of thing.”
For the rest of the EP, however, Fredrick opted to go a more experimental route.
“The three so-called B sides to the new EP were some of the weirder songs I’d written so we thought they’d make a nice cloud of weirdness,” he explains of The Nothing That Is, which features cover art from renowned storyboard artist J. Todd Anderson. “All greatly influenced by Wallace Stevens’ poetry and my re-reading of Mervyn Peake’s kinda uncategorizable novel Titus Groan. Rob Campanella, producer extraordinaire, intimated to me that he ended up liking the EP songs even more than some of the LP ones. Must be because he’s a weird one too! Haha. We all are. Weirdos who love the studio and simply keep working and working just to see what we can do with three detuned and capo’d-up chords and, well, not the truth, as good old Bono famously said, but a pack of benign, lyrical lies.”
Check out the video for “For Every Hair That’s Hurt I’ll Stop A Heart” below.
VIDEO: the black watch “For Every Hair That’s Hurt I’ll Stop A Heart”