Frank Turner is today sharing a new track, ‘The Hymn Of Kassiani’, the latest to emerge from his upcoming new album, No Man’s Land (out August 16th).
Turner’s eighth solo album, No Man’s Land is produced by Catherine Marks (The Big Moon, Wolf Alice, Foals) and features an all-female cast of musicians. With a UK headline tour announced for November – including two sold-out shows at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre – the new track arrives alongside the sixth episode of Frank’s ‘Tales From No Man’s Land’ podcast.
With Marks’ production pared right back to little more than an acoustic guitar and a string section, Turner wrote the quietly unwavering ‘The Hymn Of Kassiani’ in response to the life of exiled Byzantine princess Kassiani. Born into a wealthy Constantinople family, Kassiani was noted for her intellect, and as a young woman was presented to the Emperor Theophilus as a prospective wife. Having met a derogatory comment from the Emperor with a withering rejoinder, she was by way of punishment, sent away to a nunnery where she gradually rose to become its abbess. The rest of her life was spent in writing hymns, many of which still exist today in the Greek Orthodox canon. Kassiani was also notable for standing her ground against the empire in the iconoclastic debates of the 9th century.
Take a listen below…
No Man’s Land is dedicated throughout to the vital stories of women from history whose lives have all too often been overlooked by dint of their gender. Hailing from across wide geographical and historical lines, they also include Egyptian feminist activist Huda Sha’arawi (The Lioness), a rowdy coach house landlady from 17th century Camden Town accused of witchcraft (Jinny Bingham), and Resusci Anne (Rescue Annie) an apocryphal drowned virgin whose face was used as the model for the medical CPR mannequin across the world. There’s the serial killer from the Deep South who plucked her victims from lonely hearts pages (Nannie Doss), the jazz-obsessed heiress who fought for the Free French (Nica Rothschild) and an 1800s Dodge City vaudeville star and philanthropist (Dora Hand).
“It’s bringing together my two main interests in life, which have always been separate from each other – history and songwriting,” explains Turner, who can be found seeking out long-forgotten historical sites on self-guided psychogeographical strolls when he’s not packing out arenas or headlining festivals.
The ‘Tales From No Man’s Land’ podcast is available from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast and all other podcast platforms.
Frank will play new material from No Man’s Land across a 9 date UK headline tour, including two sold-out dates at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre on November 30 and December 3, 2019. The tour will see Turner put a new twist on his formidable live set up, featuring a solo set followed by an unplugged band performance in seated venues….
August 9 – Cropredy Festival, Cropredy
22 – Cottingham Folk Festival (Solo Show)
25 – Greenbelt Festival, Kettering
November 22 – Dunfermline, Alhambra Theatre
24 – Cardiff, St David’s Hall
25 – Southampton, O2 Guildhall
26 – Manchester, Opera House
27 – Newcastle, O2 The Academy
29 – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
30 – London, Alexandra Palace Theatre
December 1 – Birmingham, Symphony Hall
3 – London, Alexandra Palace Theatre