New Release & Video: Frank Turner – Blackout

Frank Turner has today unveiled a brand new track from his highly-anticipated new album, Be More Kind – due for release on May 4th

Take a listen to Blackout below, and check out the accompanying video which was directed by Michael Baldwin and shot on the George Lucas stage at the famous Elstree Studios – the same studio complex where key scenes from numerous legendary films including Star Wars and the Indiana Jones trilogies have been shot over its 90 year history…

Talking about the track, Turner states that it is “new territory for me, musically – a song you could even play in a club, it’s about how we might collectively respond to social dislocation and collapse…”

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

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