I have not listened to very much new music in a few years now, for one reason or another, but for the last year, most of the music I’ve listened to has come out of Frank Turner.

This is not something that I would readily admit for some time, because most of what I’ve been into for the past decade has been punk rock, and Turner is quite about softer than what I usually listen to. And yes, I am fully aware just how absurd it is to be thirty years old and self-conscious about my musical preferences.

I’m not entirely sure how I found Frank. His song Poetry of the Deed was on the Epitaph New Noise Vol 1 three and a half years ago. I wasn’t a big fan of it then, but at some point I came across his song Glory Hallelujah, which I quite liked at the time. I’m not sure when I connected the two, but in March I bought his latest album: Englang Keep My Bones, at the time. It was a great album to start with (I like the stuff before that, but less so). I particularly like the first half of the album, especially these ones:

This album always does, and always will, remind me of the front range in Colorado. I would play it while driving to and from trailheads in the mountains on weekends, and it would be stuck in my head while hiking through the rock and snow. That’s always going to be connected in my mind.

His next album was released about a month after I bought the other one, but it was another five months or so before I bought Tape Deck Heart in September, which I really can’t explain. It’s another great album:

For the past few months, if I’m listening to music, it’s this album. I got lucky back in October and got to see Frank live here in Chicago. It was a great show, and I bought the rest of his back catalogue when I got home, after not knowing half the stuff he played that night.

Anyway, enough of the history. The fact of the matter is that his music is catchy, and tends to be a lot more interesting than most music I’ve listened to in years. I mean, I still love the punk bands I’ve always loved, but let’s be honest: with the exception of Bad Religion, they don’t tend to be that intertesting, lyrically speaking. His songs still adhere to the verse/chorus/bridge structure that has served us well for so long, but he messes with that structure pretty often.

And perhaps the thing that appeals to me most: he talks a lot about death…which sounds morbid, but I find it inspiring. We are all going to die, and soon (in the grand scheme of things). It’s worth keeping that at the back of one’s mind. We have a very limited amount of time to do what we want to do with our lives. It’s not something to dwell upon, but when I’ve had a particularly uncompelling week, when I’ve done nothing memorable or interesting with myself for a while, I find the memento mori valuable.

From The Road:

Ever since my childhood I’ve been scared I’ve been afraid
Of being trapped by circumstance and staying in one place
So I always keep a small bag full of clothes carefully stored
Somewhere secret somewhere safe and somewhere close to the door

So saddle up your horses now and keep your powder dry
‘Cause the truth is you won’t be here long
Yeah, soon you’re going to die
To the heart, to the heart,
There’s no time for you to waste
You wont find your precious answers now by staying in one place

From I Am Disappeared:

And on the worst days
When it feels like life weighs ten thousand tonnes
She’s got her cowboy boots and car keys on the bed stand
So she can always run
She can get up, shower in half an hour
She’ll be gone

And on the worst days
When it feels like life weighs ten thousand tonnes
I sleep with my passport
One eye on the back door
So I can always run
I can get up, shower and in half an hour
I’ll be gone

From Losing Days:

And I used to think that I
Would never live past twenty five
And when you think like that
Each day is a gift if you survive
But I’ve survived too long for my side of the deal
And as I reach that shore I’m not sure how to feel\

I keep losing days that used to take a lifetime
In the blinking of an eye
And all these small ideas are suddenly commitments
As greatness slips on by
Greatness slips on by

From Polaroid Picture:

But in the stillness of the moment it takes for a polaroid picture
To capture our faces forever,
The world has turned a touch on its axis, and the only thing certain
Is everything changes.

From Reasons Not To Be An Idiot:

So why are you sat at home?
You’re not designed to be alone
You just got used to saying “no”
So get up and get down and get outside
Cos it’s a lovely sunny day
But you hide yourself away
You’ve only got yourself to blame
Get up and get down and get outside

From Peggy Sang the Blues:

It doesn’t matter where you come from
It matters where you go
No one gets remembered
For the things they didn’t do