2020 introduced the Dublin producer and songwriter David Balfe aka For Those I Love to the world through the hard-nosed, beautiful eulogy of debut single I Have A Love and the socio-political ruminations of its follow-up Top Scheme. For Those I Love started 2021 as the very first artist in The Guardian’s playlist of best new music for the year ahead, alongside a feature piece that labelled him “Ireland’s potent new poet of grief”.
He returns to announce his much-anticipated debut album set to land March 26th via September Recordings. ‘For Those I Love’ will be available on LP, CD and DL.
As well as news of the album, FTIL also shares a third single, the electric Birthday / The Pain. An engaging juxtaposition of surefire melodic hooks laced with pitch-black and ever-personal lyrical content, David has the following to say about its themes:
“I was six when I first encountered the fallout of a violent death. It’s such a haunting burden at that age, and still is. Birthday / The Pain recalls that moment, the desperation of trying to make sense of it as a child, and what it’d mean for me growing up against that backdrop.”
Birthday / The Pain is paired to a remarkable and visually arresting video from director Sam Davis, who after hearing of how the track was put together, through the use of old recordings, WhatsApp messages and samples, decided to approach the video in a similar way, combining multiples of of images in order to create one solid piece. He says the following of the creative process:
“This video is a journey through a landscape of memories – a train of thought. Created using a process called photogrammetry, thousands of photos were stitched together using AI to produce giant 3D models. These scenes, inspired by long chats with Dave and from the lyrics themselves, touch on the past, loss, freedom and addiction. Something we all face at some point.”
Watch the video clip for Birthday / The Pain via YouTube below.
As well as break throughs at press and radio last year, David performed live for the first time ever under the For Those I Love moniker in November on Later… with Jools Holland, delivering a performance ingrained with such emotional weight that ‘For Those I Love’ was to go on to trend on Twitter soon afterwards.
Watch I Have a Love (Live on Jools Holland) here
David first began work on For Those I Love as a chance to write frankly about the struggles he and his friends faced while growing up in north Dublin. Anecdotally and otherwise, For Those I Love documents the harsh realities of a daily life up against it, and holds a mirror up to the clear disparity between a working class upbringing and the lack of opportunity that remains to this day.
At its core, the forthcoming album pays tribute to Dave’s best friend and former bandmate, Paul Curran, who passed away in 2018. Following Paul’s tragic death, Dave locked himself away in his home studio for months, ultimately recording over 76 songs that would eventually be condensed down to form the basis of his debut album. The result is an incredibly beautiful, raw and uncompromising 9-track project addressing grief and catharsis, an important record that could only emerge from an entirely honest place.
The self-titled debut album from For Those I Love is out March 26th on September Recordings.