‘Who Am I?’, the new ten track album from synth band The Badly Behaved, takes inspiration from the 80s and 90s, and imbues it with contemporary stylings.
The brainchild of artist Richard von Kalmar, a German-South African brought up in Glasgow, The Badly Behaved also comprises Dundee’s Stewart Irving, on lead vocals, as well as Colé van Dias on secondary vocals. The songs, all written by von Kalmar, are additionally based on his experiences growing up in Glasgow, and the issues in society and hypocrisy that we all encounter on a daily basis.
Released yesterday, 9 May, ‘Who Am I?’ is strongly political, and is reminiscent of bands such as Pet Shop Boys. Von Kalmar’s lyrics show a deep understanding of history and contemporary issues, and this is evident in songs such as ‘The Demagogues Of Azania’ which, while directly referencing the African Nationalists in South Africa, is equally applied to all corrupt and hypocritical politicians, who put their own self interest above that of those they represent.
Track 4, ‘H&M’, while at first seeming to be about the Swedish clothing store, is actually about Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, and by way of angry lyrics spits out the distaste felt at their selling out their beliefs for the sake of the almighty dollar.
My test of a good album is if I am lost in listening to it when I’m meant to be reviewing it. This is certainly the case with ‘Who Am I?’. Not only have I been lost in the lyrics and the melody (it’s a dance album and a half, with its “coffee percolator” rhythms), but I’ve also fallen down several rabbit holes reading up on the issues von Kalmar is writing about. The album contains a remix of renowned German producer Philipp Lauer’s song, ‘Run Away’, and it blends perfectly with the rest of the von Kalmar-penned tracks.
‘Who Am I?’ is engineered and co-produced by Richard Wolff, ex-front man of the British band ‘White Plains’, and is available now on all streaming platforms.