For Those I Love has shared the powerfully haunting brand new single, ‘Birthday/The Pain’.
The track is the latest moving effort by Dublin visual artist and producer, David Balfe. The project is a personal one born out of Balfe’s grief and his inner workings to try and control it. Music has always been a source of escapism for Balfe and he built his dearest friendships upon this idea, and some of his most precious memories derive from bonding over sounds. Balfe, who conceived of For Those I Love as a solo project when he was still a member of punk band Burnt Out, planned the project as a mechanism to show appreciation for the people who make life worth living.
However, one of the people he had in mind when conjuring the project was his best friend and Burnt Out bandmate, the poet Paul Curran. In tragic circumstances, Curran then lost his life in early 2018 and, since then, Balfe has poured his grief into this project. Curran is at the heart of Balfe’s project, and after his death, he locked himself away for months to record his eponymous debut, set for release on March 26th through September Recordings.
The deeply personal latest single, ‘Birthday/The Pain’ is the most beautiful effort released under For Those I Love thus far. The juxtaposition of a sampled euphoric chorus with Balfe’s grief-stricken lyrics about love and loss make for unlikely bedfellows, but, the result is breathtaking.
“I was six when I first encountered the fallout of a violent death,” Balfe commented about the track. “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.”
The track has been brought to life exquisitely by the director Sam Davis, who explains: “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.”
‘Birthday/ The Pain’ is one of the most remarkable tracks to be released so far this year, and the layers of emotion that Balfe gets across is astonishing. Take five minutes out of your day and escape into Balfe’s world, below.