New Music To Know: Frank Turner, Punk Goes Folk
If a man sets aside his hardcore and punk tendencies in favor of an acoustic guitar, has he lost his ability to rock? Not when that man is Frank Turner.
The lead single off his new album Tape Deck Heart, out April 23, has roots that are traceable down a long line of heartbroken English balladeers. But before you get the wrong idea, just because the man’s singing about a broken heart doesn’t mean he’s written a slow jam. It’s instead one of those rollicking, barroom singalong tributes to heartbreak fueled by the kind of lyrics men spew when they’ve had much too much to drink and find themselves being very honest — and that Turner, in his video, seems to sing through clinched teeth.
“I like that contrast between upbeat music and dark lyrics,” Turner said. “It sounds like a happy song, but it’s clearly not. The album is about unexpected change and a big part of it is relationships ending.”
In a rather rollicking interview with Radio.com, Turner talked about his new record (both the writing and the recording, both metaphorically and literally) and about his place in the British folk-rock phenomenon overtaking America (while giving us some accurate history of that scene in its native Britain).
“I have a theory, right, that around this point in a career, if you’re at a fifth record and you reach a certain level of success, the obvious thing that most bands do at this point is they get more guarded lyrically,” Turner said. “It seemed to me that I needed to do the exact opposite of that.”