Singer/Songwriter Frank Turner is gearing up to the release of his 7th studio album Be More Kind, and in keeping with the album title, he’s dropped the new track ‘Make America Great Again’. Don’t worry, this isn’t a love letter of any kind to Trump, in fact it’s the polar opposite. Turner is bringing back compassion as a method of combating the poison and hate spat out by the Trump administration.
Whilst it’s mainly acoustic, there’s a completely infectious hook in ‘Make America Great Again’, and cool piano breakdowns that sort of serve as an antithesis to the hard hitting lyrics. It’s a catchy track, but it’s one with lyrics that convey a message important to Turner- to be more kind. Now have they eye opening moment connecting the album title to this.
‘I know I’m just an ignorant English man, but I’d like to make America great again’
From the start, it’s an anthem of peace and of love, spoken and sang in an easy to take in manner, in a way that you’ll be singing along before you realise the impact the words you’re singing actually have. It’s lyrically simple and powerful, it’s catchy but truthful, both are clever and difficult combos, but if anyone could do it, it’s Turner. He’s an artist of diverse sound and skill, so it’s great to see that put to the political in ‘Make America Great Again’.
It would be a disservice to the track to not discuss the video. It’s filmed in a ‘man on the street’ style that we’ve seen many times before, the most famous probably being Billy Eichner’s ‘Billy On The Street’, but with a twist. Turner’s decked out in a three piece, complete with a bowtie representing the American flag. He stops people on the streets of Austin, Texas during SXSW to list off their favourite things about America. The rest of the video is comprised of these, from ‘Diversity’, to ‘Free Speech’ to ‘Jack Daniels’ and bizarrely, ‘The Beatles’, it’s a kind, loving moment of ordinary folk sharing their compassion and love.
Be More Kind will be released on May 4th .Be More Kind represents a ‘line in the sand’ for Turner, it’s a record that combines universal anthems with raw emotion, the political and the personal, with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner’s sound imbued with new, bold experimental shades. Based on this, we’re sold already.
Catch Frank Turner on tour:
25th April – O2 Academy, Liverpool
27th April – O2 Academy, Bristol
28th April – The Great Hall, Exeter
30th April – The Corn Exchange, Cambridge
1st May – The Guildhall, Southampton
2nd May – Southend Cliffs Pavillion, Southend-On-Sea
4th May – The Shed, Leicester (DJ Set)
4th May – HMV Leicester (In store show)
4th May – O2 Academy, Leicester
5th May – Fopp Oxford (In store show)
Watch ‘Make America Great Again’ below.