Frank Turner has announced details of his forthcoming seventh studio album. 'Be More Kind' will be released on May 4th through Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor Records. Months after the release of 'Songbook', a career-spanning retrospective which also saw reworked versions of tracks from across the past decade, 'Be More Kind' 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. 'Be More Kind' has been 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 was halfway through writing a very different sort of album, a concept record about women from the historical record who had been ignored, when he was reading a collection of Clive James’ poetry and one particular line compelled him to re-think his direction. It was from a poem called Leçons Des Ténèbres: “I should have been more kind. It is my fate. To find this out, but find it out too late.” “It devastated me the first time I read it,” he says. “A lot of older, wiser people tend to say things like that, that the things that come out in the wash at the end of a human life are the way you treated the people around you. In the modern world, that’s a lesson that all of us, myself included could do to learn.”
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. Turner’s last two records, 2013’s 'Tape Deck Heart' and 2015’s 'Positive Songs For Negative People', dealt with the fallout from a break-up and saw Turner struggling to cover the cracks in his personal life. Now happily in a relationship and living with his partner and their cat, he again set his sights to the bigger picture.
Ahead of the albums release, Frank has released new single '1933' which you can listen to below.
'Be More Kind' will be released on May 4th
1. Don't Worry
3. Little Changes
4. Be More Kind
5. Make America Great Again
6. Going Nowhere
7. Brave Face
8. There She Is
9. 21st Century Survival Blues
11. Common Ground
12. The Lifeboat
13. Get It Right