New Release: Frank Turner – Be More Kind / 1933

Frank Turner has announced details of a 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

Ahead of the release, Frank has unveiled the first single from the record, in the form of 1933

1933, is 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

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

Frank 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”

The Be More Kind World Tour will begin in April, with its first leg playing to over 200,000 people across the UK, the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, taking them through to Christmas. Turner promises that 2019 will include visits to some “slightly more weird and wonderful places.” “My days of being engaged in an arms race to be the hardest touring musician in the universe are behind me now,” he says. “We’re going to tour hard but come home regularly in the middle of it.” The first batch of announcements covers 120 dates. Some old habits die hard. These are songs that demand to be heard and Frank Turner is packed and ready to go…

April 13th – Manchester Academy
15th – Dublin The Academy
18th – Belfast The Limelight
20th – Aberdeen The Garage
21st – Edinburgh Liquid Room
22nd – Newcastle O2 Academy
24th – Sheffield O2 Academy
25th – Liverpool O2 Academy
27th – Bristol O2 Academy
28th – Exeter Uni Great Hall
30th – Cambridge Corn Exchange
May 1st – Southampton Guildhall
2nd – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
4th – Leicester O2 Academy
5th – Oxford O2 Academy
8th – Hull City Hall
9th – Norwich UEA

Tickets go on sale on Friday 2nd Feb at 10.00am, with a special fan pre-sale starting now on Frank’s store FrankTurner.lnk.to/BeMoreKindPR