Album Reviews · Reviews

Album Review: Radio Dept’s Shows Politics Are “Running Out of Love”


What happens when politics becomes so dark and twisted that you, yourself, grow numb to the hatred  that brews before you? What happens when your country, as you know it, is choosing to go backwards in human progressiveness instead of forward, where is needs to be so desperately? Emotionally a lot can happen to a citizen when their once beloved nation is Running Out Of Love.  Radio Department’s Running Out of Love is one of the most politically relevant albums to be released this year, and the irony is that it is not about American politics; it is about Sweden’s current political chaos.


While Swedish politics may not be the most covered in America, Radio Department assures to give you a lyrical “catch-up” on their native land that will leave listeners shocked at how common it is to feel disappointed in the intellectual backwardness of their nation. While the duo remarks on the unloving, governmental policies that can be made towards a nation’s people, you feel connected to them in their simmering, internal grief. As these Stockholm born millennials, Johan Duncanson and Martin Carlsberg, watch their supposed political protectors/representatives make rulings that further cut paychecks and health benefits for the poor, ignite discrimination towards migrants, and overall induce systemic violence, they placed sadness to music.

 Lyrically,  Running Out of Love is incredibly poignant and palpable. Every citizen, no matter what age or nation, will understand the dwindling hope and growing apathy these two young men garner as politicians misuse their power. Personally, I was shocked to hear how common its for people to witness and silence their disdain for the heinous phrases and political rulings that could go through government rhetoric. Moreover, how common it is to be in awe that it is your own neighbor that could support you political oppression. It seems as if the mental/ spiritual disconnection between citizens and politicians is an international issue.  It is this emotional distance that inspires the dark-techno vibes of the record.

Sonically, the album plays like a mysterious 80s film. Synthetic/ futuristic keys guide you like a darkened energy into the what Radio Dept’ perceives as ensuing civil madness/ inhumanity. Each note is strategically placed to make you feel like the country you are walking into seems disturbingly new from the one you have known, which is exactly how most people feel when they discuss the ambiguous “glory days” of politics. Duncanson’s voice is smooth, straightened, and, most intriguingly quiet when vocally representing the “rollercoaster frustrations” of political “pageantry”. As governmental representatives wear fine suits and passive aggressive language, Radio Dept furthers their questioning of “Where is the love?”. Are these two Swedish natives  the only ones witnessing the disintegration of their nation? Does anyone care for others or even their self anymore? The self-destruction that can ignite when one feels both the systemic and environmental chains building against them is another wise analysis this album intelligently conveys.  


Radio Dept proves, social violence and disappointment, has become a vastly human sentiment. Yet, is is a man-made construction that leads to waning sense of national/self-identity.  From America to Sweden, Millennials will be attracted to how well Radio Dept sums up their wondering of when the world lost its way, and forget the moral definition of “better” also includes the word together. For more information Radio Dept and to buy Running Out Of Love on October 21 Click Here.