Frank Turner is set to release his tenth album ‘Undefeated’ on 3rd May, which he launches with the new single “Do One”.
‘Undefeated’ follows his first UK #1 album, 2022’s ‘FTHC’, and is the result of his decision to step away from the major label world to re-embrace the liberation of working as an independent artist, Frank says, “my first back home with a global independent label setup (still with Xtra Mile of course).”
The new single “Do One” sees them firing on all cylinders, a supremely catchy message of defiance (“I’m still standing up and there’s nothing you can do!”) which straddles the spectrum between power-pop and pop-punk.
Frank adds: “‘Do One’ is the last song I wrote for the new album, and the first song on that album, as well as the first single. So it’s a summation of what I’m trying to say with this record, a record about survival and defiance, but also one with a sense of fun and self-deprecation. 19 years into my solo career, I’m still standing up and putting out some of my best work. It feels good.”
“Now I’m surprised to report that as I enter my forties, I’ve returned to being an angry man,” he sings on the recent track “No Thank You For The Music”. And that’s a concise statement as to what to expect from ‘Undefeated’. Finding the sweet spot between youthful outspokenness and surviving midlife’s challenges, it’s a record that explores both emotionally compelling topics and lighter reflections on those troubles that eventually come to most of us. Who you are versus who you wanted to be in your youth; life-altering love; fading friendships; wistful nostalgia; the mental fallout and political consequences that still linger from the pandemic era; and the more prosaic issue of persistent backache.
Frank says of the album:
“There are no clichés about the difficult 10th album, so in some ways, that’s a liberating statement. But at the same time, I have a duty to justify writing and releasing a 10th album. That’s a lot of records for anybody. Also, I’m 42. Which is not a sexy, rock’n’roll age. But all through my career, I’ve been interested in writers like Loudon Wainwright III or The Hold Steady, people who write about adulthood, essentially.”
While thematically ‘Undefeated’ is informed by this time in life, sonically it’s full of echoes to influences that Frank has touched upon at various moments in his kaleidoscopic career. It switches from Black Flag to Counting Crows, from Descendents to The Pogues, via Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg. Its freewheeling nature is reflective not only of his new-found independence, but also of the creative environment he found himself in. As usual, it was entirely written by himself, but this is the first album that he produced himself, recorded in the home studio that he and his wife, Jessica Guise, share on Mersea Island, Essex. It features his live band: Ben Lloyd (guitar), Tarrant Anderson (bass), Callum Green (drums) and Matt Nasir (piano).
The release of ‘Undefeated’ will of course see this punk-rock road-warrior tour with the tenacity and intense schedules that he’s renowned for (such as the sprawling 50 States in 50 Days North American tour) but with even bigger ambitions that will be revealed in due course as he nears his 3000th(!) gig. But for now, anticipate the new album: a typically energising, literate, playful and provocative set from a musician who remains ‘Undefeated’ after a quarter-of-a-century in the game.