Singer/songwriter Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls are returning to New Zealand this November.
Since his last visit in 2015, Turner has criss-crossed the globe, transforming from another aging punk with an acoustic guitar to a galvanizing voice in the wilderness for his thousands of fans, many of whom are aging punks themselves. His shows have moved from corner pubs to concert halls, his singles have moved from the blogosphere to the British charts, and his lyrics have moved from the page to many a tattooed bicep. The music has also graduated to a grander scale.
His forthcoming seventh studio album, Be More Kind (released on May 4th through Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor Records), 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. 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.
After the stripped-down, live-sounding Positive Songs for Negative People, Turner wanted to try a new approach for this record. “I have an obscure corner of my music taste where I’m into glitch electronic music and Warp Records,” says Turner. “It’s not an electronic record but I got into arpeggiator synths.” 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. These are songs that demand to be heard and Frank Turner is packed and ready to go.