Tape Deck Heart

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Tape Deck Heart
Tape Deck Heart Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Frank Turner
Released 22 April 2013
Recorded 2012
Genre Folk rock, folk punk, punk rock
Length 50:20
Label Xtra Mile, Polydor, Interscope
Producer Rich Costey
Frank Turner chronology
The Second Three Years
Tape Deck Heart
Losing Days (2013)
Singles from Tape Deck Heart
  1. "Recovery"
    Released: 4 March 2013
  2. "The Way I Tend To Be"
    Released: 6 June 2013
  3. "Losing Days"
    Released: 1 September 2013
  4. "Oh Brother"
    Released: 9 October 2013
  5. "Polaroid Picture"
    Released: 3 February 2014
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club B[3]
Electric Banana 4/5 stars[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
Hellhound Music 8/10 stars[6]
NME 8/10[7]
PopMatters 8/10[8]
Punk News 3.5/5 stars[9]
Sputnikmusic 4.6/5 stars[10]
The Telegraph 4/5 stars[11]
This Is Fake DIY 5/10[12]
Dance Yrself Clean 8/10[13]
Under The Gun Review 9/10[14]

Tape Deck Heart is the fifth studio album by English singer-songwriter Frank Turner, released on 22 April 2013 on Xtra Mile in the UK, and on Polydor / Interscope worldwide. Produced by Rich Costey, the album was preceded by the single, "Recovery."

Described as a "break-up album," Tape Deck Heart was written and recorded following the collapse of a long-term romantic relationship. Turner stated: "There’s a lot of stuff on this record about loss and failure in relationships, about what happens when something that was supposed to be timeless runs out of time."[15]

Tape Deck Heart has been given a Parental Advisory label due to the profanity heard on tracks "Plain Sailing Weather" and "Good & Gone". The title of the album is taken from a lyric in the song "Tell Tale Signs".

Background and recording[edit]

After extensive touring in support of Turner's fourth studio album, England Keep My Bones (2011) - which included an appearance during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony and a headline show at Wembley Arena - Turner and his backing band, The Sleeping Souls, flew to Los Angeles, in October 2012, to enter the studio with producer Rich Costey, seeking a "big, warm expansive rock sound."[16] Regarding the band's experience in Los Angeles, Turner stated, "It’s such a cliché – bands reach a certain level of success, go to L.A. to record an album. I was nervous about recording outside the UK because my music sounds English and I like that, but in fact, it didn’t make any difference. We stayed at the Holiday Inn next door and didn’t finish until dark every day, so I scarcely saw the sun shine."[17]

Regarding Costey's production, Turner noted, "I will say that I think the production is a massive step up for me. [...] The man is a fucking genius."[15] Nicknamed, "Sauron, the all seeing eye," by Turner and his bandmates, Costey often made the band perform multiple takes in the studio, with Turner stating: "He brings an almost autistic eye for detail. He made me do 42 vocal takes at one point, with the encouragement ‘I know there’s something in there'."[18]

Writing and composition[edit]

Explaining the album's title, Turner stated, "A 'Tape Deck Heart' is someone who has a love of music above anything else. I don’t miss cassettes, but I am of an age - like many of us - whose music listening life was defined by Walkmen and C90 tapes."[18]

Comparing the album's lyrical and thematic content to his previous album, England Keep My Bones (2011), Turner noted: "This record isn't about England at all — I did that last time round. This album is about self-examination, running through your own faults, about change, and about ending. Something like that."[19]

Regarding the track, "Four Simple Words", Turner stated, "I think that song is something of a nod towards Queen, stylistically. But it’s not something that markedly runs through the record as such, I don’t think."[15] Turner elaborated, "I tell people it's about dancing but it's really a song about punk rock and the pleasantly surprising revelation that, at 31, my ethics and approach to music are the same as when I was 15."[16]


The artwork for the album was done by SWFL tattoo artist Heather Ann Law.


On 25 December 2012, Turner released a free download of "Four Simple Words" on his website, backed with a demo version of the song, "Cowboy Chords". The opening track and first single, "Recovery", premiered on Radio 1, on 4 March 2013 and was released on iTunes the following day.

The deluxe edition of the album contains six additional tracks, with Turner noting, "Track listing an album is a fine art, and usually a pretty agonising process. I’m glad I've had the opportunity to do the extended version for this one – all these songs belong together. That said, I think an album is a piece of art in its own right and can be too long, so it’s worth making the twelve-track definitive version. Choosing what makes it and what doesn’t is agonising, though."[15]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Frank Turner, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Recovery"   3:28
2. "Losing Days"   3:32
3. "The Way I Tend To Be"   3:41
4. "Plain Sailing Weather" (Frank Turner, Matt Nasir) 4:01
5. "Good & Gone"   3:50
6. "Tell Tale Signs"   4:12
7. "Four Simple Words"   4:56
8. "Polaroid Picture"   3:43
9. "The Fisher King Blues"   5:00
10. "Anymore"   3:09
11. "Oh Brother" (Turner, Nasir) 4:18
12. "Broken Piano"   5:30



  • Standard CD
  • Deluxe CD
  • 12" Vinyl available in green or black
  • iTunes LP
  • Cassette Tape


"Four Simple Words" was released as a free download, along with a demo version of "Cowboy Chords" through Xtra Miles website on Christmas Day 2012. The first single from the album was "Recovery", which was released on 5 March 2013 and the music video was released the same day. "The Way I Tend To Be" was later released on 17 June and peaked at number 33 in the HOT100UK singles chart. "Losing days" was the third single to be released.


Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls[edit]

  • Frank Turner – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
  • Ben Lloyd – electric guitar, backing vocals, noise (12), drums (12)
  • Tarrant Anderson – bass guitar, backing vocals, drums (12)
  • Matt Nasir – piano, accordion, organ, mellotron, Rhodes, wurlitzer, mandolin, xylophone, backing vocals, drums (12)
  • Nigel Powell – drums, percussion, recorder, backing vocals

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Rich Costey - electric guitar (1 and 9), backing vocals (7)
  • Elle King - banjo (3)
  • Fergus Coulbeck - jew’s harp ("her velvet tones")
  • John Hill - soundscapes (3)
  • Chris Trovero - backing vocals (7)
  • Scott Keys - backing vocals (7)
  • Deena Keys - backing vocals (7)
  • Samantha Keys - backing vocals (7)
  • Chris Kasych - backing vocals (7)
  • Ben Hallett - backing vocals (7)

Recording personnel[edit]

  • Rich Costey - producer, recording, mixing
  • Chris Kasych - engineer, additional mixing (9 and 12)
  • Dave Schiffman - additional engineering
  • Eric Isip - recording assistant
  • Howie Weinberg - mastering
  • Nick Moorbath - producer, mixing (15 and 18)


  • Heather Law Tattooer - cover design
  • Matt Hunt - portraits
  • Ben Morse - band photographs
  • Thomas Lacey - album artwork and layout


  1. ^ "Tape Deck Heart Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  2. ^ Christopher Monger, James. "Tape Deck Heart - Frank Turner". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  3. ^ Zaleski, Annie (2013-04-23). "Album Review". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  4. ^ Hiblen, Simon. "Tape Deck Heart - Frank Turner". Electric Banana. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  5. ^ Simpson, Dave (2013-04-18). "Album Review". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  6. ^ Crane, Matt (2013-04-17). "Album Review: Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart". Hellhoundmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  7. ^ Cooper, Leonie (2013-04-19). "NME Album Review". Nme.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  8. ^ Horowitz, Steven (2013-04-22). "Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  9. ^ "Album Review". Punknews.org. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  10. ^ Freeman, Channing (2013-04-23). "Frank Turner Review". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  11. ^ McCormick, Neil (2013-04-19). "Album Review". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  12. ^ Doyle, Tom. "Album Review". thisisfakediy.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  13. ^ Rodger, James Daniel. "Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart". danceyrselfclean.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  14. ^ "REVIEW: Frank Turner-'Tape Deck Heart'". Under the Gun Review. 23 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d Rodger, James Daniel. "Frank Turner - Interview". danceyrselfclean.com. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Paine, Andre. "It's a punk-folk thing: Frank Turner Interview". standard.co.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Frank Turner Reveals His Tape Deck Heart". maytherockbewithyou.com/. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Interview: Frank Turner on Albatrosses, Relief, Springsteen and C90 Cassettes". something-gold-something-new.com/. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Frank Turner interview". asialifemagazine.com. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Turner, Frank. "‘TAPE DECK HEART’ – NEW ALBUM + TICKET PRE-SALE". frank-turner.com. Retrieved 16 January 2013.