There are many individuals in the rock music industry who are known as jack-of-all-trades, but Billy Howerdel might have most of them beat. Not only is he an acclaimed musician in his own right, but he’s formed two impressive bands with A Perfect Circle and Ashes Divide, along with serving as a guitar technician for The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool and David Bowie, to name a few. Howerdel is talented as an instrumentalist, songwriter and singer — and all of his skills are on full display on his latest single, “Beautiful Mistake.”

Howerdel has been leading up to the release of his newest album, What Normal Was, by releasing a single each preceding Friday. “Beautiful Mistake” was the last single, and quite possibly the strongest. It’s a meditative yet pulsing track about the mistakes we make in life, how they make us feel and, more importantly, how our emotions surrounding them affect others. The structure of the song is atypical, with no defined chorus and a range of rough guitar work mixed with Howerdel’s otherworldly vocals. Toward the end, the lyrics turn reflective with, “I love your beautiful mistakes / Colored by all the life you found along the way / New truths, new hope, new fate / This is your moment to decide.” It’s a sentiment that Howerdel says sums up the song in total:

“We’re often too hard on ourselves … The Japanese philosophy Kintsugi, the Appreciation of Imperfection, inspired a new way for me to reflect on mistakes. Forgiving others can often be easier than forgiving ourselves.”

“Beautiful Mistake” is a song of contradictions in all the best ways — flowing yet grounded, vague yet specific, forgiving yet asking for forgiveness. It allows Howerdel to show off all his songwriting and instrumental skills, while making listeners really think deep about what Howerdel is saying. Especially in these hectic times, it helps to have a song from such a talent like Howerdel to remind us that no one is perfect, and that more often than not there’s beauty in all our mistakes.

Billy Howerdel’s eagerly-anticipated and self-produced upcoming solo album, What Normal Was, released June 10 via Alchemy Recordings / Rise Records / BMG. A domestic tour to support the album is ongoing between now and mid-July — tickets are available here. Take a listen to the album’s third single, “Beautiful Mistake,” below now!

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