The context for For Those I Love’s self-titled is best presented as a timeline. The project’s lead, David Balfe, began creating songs about friendship and support against the backdrop of post-austerity Dublin. A year into the process, his friend and collaborator in Burnt Out, Paul Curran, died by suicide. The result is For Those I Love, a gripping insight into how, in the depths of grief, fighting the temptation to assign blame and presenting an honest narrative is the best path to healing.
This record isn’t rap, spoken word or electro. It takes cues from the above but with the mix of emotions Balfe works through on the album- frustration, despair, perverse optimism- the consequences could only produce music so idiosyncratic. The piano line running through ‘I Have A Love’ could easily morph into a house classic in someone else’s hands. Instead, it’s left sparse, accented by acidic synths. This contrast is the album’s lasting impact – a blueprint for hope told through tragedy.
Niall O’Shaughnessy – Former Music Editor