Mixing between a personal reminiscence and a tone that makes it hard to avoid the word ‘bromance’, Oh Brother is quite plainly a song about connection.
The new single from Frank Turner, due for release on November 4th, drifts in and out of the memories of one of ‘Britain’s finest songwriters’ and his long-time mate and drummer, Ben Dawson. Detailing their early start as a musical pairing, rough times and a sense of a recurring magnetism between the duo, the four-minute track details their entire history together which spans over 20 years and 3 bands. But, as always with Frank, though the message seems pretty straight forward, it’s obvious that every lyric is laced with a little something more.
Heavy hearts and high spirits
The song is definitely an odd one. It makes you feel odd, that is. Oh Brother is one of those tunes where you’re not sure whether it makes you think of the good times or if you need a hug. The chorus, which leans into a heartfelt message, will probably be the point where you know which way you feel. Either way, it’s something to cry along to with your best mate, if it’s been a while since your last drunken sing along.
Personal and on display
As you’d expect with such a sincere song, Frank has made no effort to keep anything from his listeners, he even states the reasoning behind writing Oh Brother publicly on Youtube. ‘Platonic male affection is a subject not much covered in popular song’ admits Frank, keen to hide none of his thought process. Revealing the concepts behind an already barebones release, and even summing up the track in its entirety, Frank clearly states; ‘I wanted to write a nice song about my buddy Ben… saying ‘I still consider you my best friend’’. As simple as that.
In the same vein of exposure, Frank’s recent interview with Rocksound takes a step back to look at his latest record, Tapedeck Heart, with a nod to Oh Brother ‘I wanted to make a record that was very raw and personal’ says Frank.
Even though his latest release was number one on the iTunes Chart and number two on the Official Chart, Frank very much contests the idea of withdrawing with fame. Not one to hide much, Frank believes that his musical platform should be as unsheltered as possible: ‘I wanted to write something really exposed, cutting,’ something which, clearly, he has achieved.
For the long haul
Frank and the subject of his latest single, Ben Dawson, have been making music together for over 20 years. Through their Alt Rock outfit Kneejerk, and Post-Hardcore/ Punk bands Million Dead and Möngöl Hörde, they’re still just as close and continue to make music together.
Obviously, no song could capture their extensive relationship completely, but Oh Brother comes pretty damn close. And, entirety aside, Dawson still cried when Frank played it to him for the first time.
Frank will embark on the biggest headline tour of his career in February 2014, including London’s O2 Arena.