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.
The album 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.
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,
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.
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.
After the stripped-down, live-sounding Positive Songs…, Turner wanted to try a new approach for the record. Originally, he contacted Jenkins and Block at their Niles City Sound studio in Fort Worth, Texas with the idea of recording a white soul album in the vein of Dexys Midnight Runners.
He found they were equally enthusiastic when he changed his mind and decided he wanted to record a more rock-led album with tints of electronic-pop.
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. 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. 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.
BE MORE KIND TOUR – UK & IRELAND DATES:
13th Manchester Academy
15th Dublin The Academy
16th 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
1st Southampton Guildhall 01/05/2018
2nd Southend Cliffs Pavilion 02/05/2018
4th Leicester O2 Academy 04/05/2018
5th Oxford O2 Academy 05/05/2018
8th Hull City Hall
9th Norwich UEA
Tickets go on sale on Friday 2nd Feb at 10.00am and are available from here https://FrankTurner.lnk.to/Tour with a special fan pre-sale starting now on Frank’s store https://FrankTurner.lnk.to/BeMoreKindPR
‘Be More Kind’ is available in a variety of formats including limited edition boxset and transparent vinyl. Pre-order here https://FrankTurner.lnk.to/BeMoreKindPR