Blue Murder and Select Touring are excited to announce the return of singer/songwriter Frank Turner this December!
His forthcoming seventh studio album, Be More Kind (released on May 4th through Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor Records), represents a thematic and sonic line in the sand for the 36-year-old. It’s a record that combines universal anthems with raw emotion and the political and the personal, with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner’s sound imbued with new, bold experimental shades. Produced by Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block, formerly of psychedelic-rock Texans White Denim, and Florence And The Machine and Halsey collaborator Charlie Hugall. “I wanted to try and get out of my comfort zone and do something different,” says Turner.
Turner and his band, the Sleeping Souls, were on tour in the USA in 2016 “when the world decided to go collectively nuts” and the songs that make up Be More Kind started to come together. “Somewhere in the record, there’s a convergence of the ideas of personal and political, which is a central theme of the album,” Turner says. One of the driving themes of the album is empathy, even for your enemy. “You should at least be able to inhabit the mental universe of the people you disagree with. If you can’t do that, then how do you communicate with people other than through force of arms, which is something we all agree is a bad idea.” Behind some of the best songs of Turner’s career is the idea that the human race needs to find better ways of disagreeing than screaming each other down.
The first track to be released from Be More Kind is “1933”, a clattering, state-of-the-nation anthem. Furious and direct, it’s inspired by articles Turner saw that suggested the alt-right was punk rock. “That filled me with a mixture of incredulity and anger,” says Turner. “The idea that Breitbart or Steve Bannon think they have anything to do with punk rock makes me extremely angry.” The other theme in the track is summed up by the line, “If I was one of the greatest generation/I’d be pissed/I’d be screaming at my grandkids/that we already did this.” “These ideas are surfacing again that collectively as a species we’ve already shot down,” says Turner.
After the stripped-down, live-sounding Positive Songs for Negative People, Turner wanted to try a new approach for the record. “I have an obscure corner of my music taste where I’m into glitch electronic music and Warp Records,” says Turner. “It’s not an electronic record but I got into arpeggiator synths.” Positive Songs… was cut in nine intense days whereas Be More Kind was made over a period of seven months, giving Turner the opportunity to turn songs on their head, try different versions and shake up the dynamics within his band.
Now he just has to work out how they are going to play them live. These are songs that demand to be heard and Frank Turner is packed and ready to go.