One of my favorite artists from the last few years, Frank Turner, has a new album out: FTHC.1 It—at least parts of it—represents a swing back from his acoustic guitar-led singer-songwriter fare to his roots as a hardcore artist. Yes, that means it’s peppered with screaming and righteous anger. That usually isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m down with it. Frank Turner is cool and makes good records; you should listen to them.

What I love about Frank Turner is that he comes across as incredibly, even uncomfortably, open and honest. His songs mix together toughness with sensitivity, and cynicism with optimism, in a way that reveals both his maturity as a person and his cleverness when it comes to song structure. His lyrics range from poetic and clever to raw and emotional. His music ranges from quiet and beautiful to thunderous and anthemic—often in the same song. Overall, his albums give you the impression that he held nothing back in creating them. I very much respect and admire that.2

Unlike any other musician I can think of, Turner even did a very generous two-part interview with a tech podcast, Dialog, a few years ago. He talked about his songwriting process and what it was like to be a working musician who is a little older and wiser than the clichéd young rock star you might imagine.

  1. According to Wikipedia, it is an initialization of “Frank Turner Hardcore.” ↩︎

  2. Another artist I like that does the same thing is The Avett Brothers. (Interestingly, The Avett Brothers were once a punk band that evolved into an acoustic Americana band, which is not too different from Turner’s evolution from a punk singer to a singer-songwriter.) ↩︎