Frank Turner Releases New Single and Compilation Album

Folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner announced on Monday that he will be releasing a new album in the form of a ‘best of’ compilation. Going by the name Songbook, this compilation will also contain a brand new single release called, There She Is.

There She Is will give us the first sneak peak at what’s expected for Turner’s seventh studio album, which is due in the new year. On his website’s blog, he said: “My main priority will be finishing off the new album. Hopefully it’ll be out in spring next year (with some new tunes before then), and of course there will be tour dates galore to accompany all that.”

Turner has always laid his emotions on the line with his music, discussing his feelings openly and allowing his pain or joy to seep through his lyrics. There She Is, is no different in this sense, as I’m no detective but it seems to be closely related to his new relationship. In the past, Turner has sung about his rather unlucky-in-love experiences in Substitute, detailing previous girlfriends and portraying love as the missing puzzle piece. He sang:

“But oh, what I would give, not to stumble but to really fall in love/And I could substitute my singing for the sound of someone sleeping next to me.” 

Perhaps he has now found that missing puzzle piece. Many fans were quick to react to his joyous lyrics.

There is a beautiful simplicity to the new single. While it may not be Turner’s most ambitious lyrically, anything more would almost be too much. Even the accompanying music feels like a very laid-back form of rock, with many comparisons to Bruce Springsteen being made.

This isn’t Turner’s first time at a compilation album, having previously released a series of The First Three Years, The Second Three Years and The Third Three years, all containing covers and alternative versions of his songs. Songbook differs, standing aside from those previous, being the first to feature his favourite picks spanning across the past six studio albums.

Songbook is set for CD/digital release on November 24th, which might just tide us over until we get to hear some more new tunes.

You can pre-order Songbook here and listen to There She Is on Spotify now. 

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On Paul Simon’s Birthday, Let’s Celebrate 5 of the Best Duos

Yesterday marked the American musician and singer-songwriter, Paul Simon’s 76th birthday. While he has had a very successful solo career – most notably for his album Graceland – it’s hits such as The Sound of Silence and Mrs. Robinson, which still remain at the forefront of people’s minds today. These were of course a product of the iconic duo Simon & Garfunkel, whose partnership spanned over just six years before they split in 1970.

From past to present, here’s five of the best duos in music:

  1. Royal Blood

    This two-piece rock duo from Brighton formed in 2013 and it wasn’t long before they were making their mark on the music scene with their first single, Out of the Black. They have been praised for their fuller sound, with many surprised that it’s coming from just two people. Since their formation, they have taken home various awards, including Best Live Band at the NME awards and more recently played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, in June of this year.

2. OutKast

Ruling the 90s and early 2000s with singles like Ms. Jackson and Hey Ya! is American hip hop duo OutKast. I challenge you to try and listen to them without singing along. It’s not possible! The duo became famous for blending a combination of funk, jazz and gospel, which was explored in depth when they released their double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003. This gave the duo a chance to present their separate personas and musical styles and has been certified diamond.

Roses features both André and Big Boi in a battle-off scenario, which is said to have been inspired by musicals, Grease and West Side Story.

3. Tenacious D

This couldn’t be a post about musical duos without featuring the legends that are, Tenacious D. Comprising of Kyle Gass and School of Rock actor Jack Black, this rock pair lace their image and music with theatrical comedic elements. For some, this just won’t be their cup of tea but this has proved to be a successful technique at drawing many others in. Don’t let the humour overshadow their musical abilities though, as they even won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2015.

4. Twenty One Pilots

Slightly newer to the game are alternative hip hop duo, consisting of lead vocalist, Tyler Joseph and drummer, Josh Dun. Despite the pair forming in 2009, it wasn’t until the release of their single Stressed Out in 2015, that they really achieved widespread success. Signed to Fueled by Ramen, who also manage Paramore, it’s unsurprising that Tyler has also become a brand ambassador for Hayley Williams’ hair dye venture, Good Dye Young.

5. The White Stripes

Despite insisting they were siblings to the public, Jack Gillis and Meg White did actually marry in 1996, with Jack taking an unconventional stance in taking Meg’s surname. The pair later divorced in 2000 but continued making music together until 2011. Image was an important factor to them, creating certain conventions, such as a consistent use in just three colours; red, white and black and a theme around the number three. Their most famous song to date is Seven Nation Army, popularised for its distinctive guitar riff, it has also been more recently adapted in political events to “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”.

5 Things I Enjoyed In Liverpool

Having recently returned from the vibrant city of Liverpool (England), I was inspired to do a post about some of the attractions there. I have been to Liverpool on several occasions now to visit my boyfriend who goes to University there and by this point, I feel as though I’m familiar with it enough to recommend some places that I have enjoyed.

Of course, it made its mark on the map for being the birthplace of some culturally-significant bands and musicians over the years – The Beatles, anyone? This reputation gives it a lively feeling, particularly attracting a younger generation who revel in its history of bright lights and famous bars.

So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my 5 things I enjoyed in Liverpool:

  1. The Beatles Story (Museum) – http://www.beatlesstory.com/prices
    It may seem a bit of an obvious one but nevertheless a must-see if you’re into music and want to learn a bit of history about how it all began, for some of the predominant bands of the 60s. The tour is fairly long, estimating to take about an hour to get round, if you’re anything like me and like to stop at every sign to read the information!

    However, they also provide headsets so when you do arrive at a signpost, you can select the relevant number and listen to an informative description of the particular item you are viewing. The museum is great value for money (see link for ticket prices) with a fantastic replica of The Cavern Club, as well as some treasured pieces of memorabilia. You can find the museum positioned just next door to the Albert Dock – see below for more on this.

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    One of the many items of memorabilia featured in the museum. A rather iconic outfit of John Lennon’s.

2. Central Perk Café – http://www.central-perk.co.uk/liverpool/index.html
Well it pains me to say this but this café is no longer Friends themed.

Yep. You heard right. There was an imitation Central Perk Café that played Friends on numerous TV screens, 24 hours a day… or well, for as long as it was open anyway. This was quite possibly the best thing about Liverpool, in my opinion. Being slightly too obsessed with Friends, I was incredibly impressed with how alike it was to the real deal and it almost felt a little surreal stepping inside.

So you can begin to get an idea of my disappointment when I heard they’d redesigned it. Alas! It is now in the theme of American sitcoms but the TV’s still remain, occasionally playing Friends so I guess it’s not all doom and gloom. I’m hoping to check it out in the near future so I’ll give a short update when that happens.

3. Albert Dock – http://www.albertdock.com/attractions/20160507_175830
A lovely setting to take a stroll, amongst the country’s largest collection of Grade I listed buildings, with the benefit of being able to look out at the waterfront. To me, the dock seemed like a buzzing area, full of life with restaurants and bars and surrounded by many other activities to get stuck into. For example, The Beatles Museum is right near (as mentioned above) as well as Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and a Victorian carousel … for the big kid in everyone.

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Above shows The Beatles sculpture. Just one of the many set of statues featuring famous faces, near the waterfront.

4. The Cavern Club – http://www.cavernclub.org
If you want to take a trip down memory lane, experience live music and dance all of your troubles away without being judged, (oh and don’t mind getting a bit hot) then The Cavern is the place for you. I have been here twice now and every time has been well worth the trip. It has gained a respectable reputation for bringing the city alive with music, known for providing a platform to many British pop groups in the past. This included The Beatles, who became their signature act after their first performance there on 9th February, 1961.

There is live music here every day of the week and free entry all day Monday – Wednesday. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, this would be one way to have fun without hurting your bank account too much.

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Entrance to The Cavern pub.

5. Crosby Beach – http://www.visitsouthport.com/things-to-do/crosby-beach-p244561
I had no idea that such a lovely sandy beach would be waiting for me in Liverpool. I guess when you think of a big city, you think of the nightlife and rush of tourists, rather than a quaint escape. However, take a 20 minute train journey from Liverpool Central station and you’re immediately taken from the busy sights, landing in a peaceful retreat. It should be noted that besides an ice cream van, there aren’t any attractions near to the beach so if you’re planning on spending the day there, it would be wise to bring some refreshments and activities.

There is also an interesting piece of art featured across the stretch of the beach and even trailing into the sea. It’s called Another Place and is a creation by the internationally acclaimed, Sir Antony Gormley. Gormley created 100 cast iron sculptures in the form of his own body and they are all positioned standing, facing the sea. Visit Liverpool state that the idea is to present them all, “staring at the horizon in silent expectation.” 

 

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I’ll leave you on this photo of the beach, looking out at the horizon. If you look close enough you might just see some of the sculptures popping up.

Although I’m sure there is plenty more to see and do in Liverpool, these were just a few places where I have had some great times. Please do let me know if you decide to visit any of these as I’d love to hear if you enjoyed it as much as I did. Also let me know if you have any good recommendations for the next time! I have put links in the headings to websites for every place mentioned, so hopefully these will answer more specific queries.