Chris Guiton reviews Calum Baird's latest release
Calum Baird’s new single Modern Man is a potent take on male identity.
The Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter and political activist writes about socialist and progressive themes in a deceptively simple folk music style. He describes Modern Man as a “critique of masculinity as a social construct and how the values and systems around it develop.”
The song focuses on the challenges faced by men forced to live up to society’s expectations about how they should behave:
Who can tell if I’m a man of brawn or a man of brain/Just as soon as I think I’ve sussed it out the parameters have changed again…I’ll never be the superhero that inspired me/I’ll never be the action man that society expects me to be.
Bucking gender stereotypes in a patriarchal society can be difficult. The capitalist media bombards us with messages designed to promote a toxic view of masculinity, perpetuate gender inequality and underpin the economic status quo. Men need to be empowered to question what it means to be a man today, to consider how gender roles affect all our lives, and to promote gender equality and the exercise of human rights for all.
Calum Baird ably links his personal experience to these issues:
I’m a modern man trying to navigate the world as best as I can/When it comes to ancient stereotypes I don’t give a damn.
He’s a fine singer and guitarist. And this is a great single. All power to him!
Modern Man is released on 20 September and will be available on all online stores for streaming and downloading. You can find out more about Calum here.