Credit: Press

New Noise: Why you need to start listening to For Those I Love

New Noise, a brand new featured section on Far Out, will see a renewed focus on the realm of new music as we look at some of the emerging artists you need to start adding to your playlist. These are the artists looking to make 2021 the year in which they step out of their shadows, armed with an arsenal of material ready to get the recognition that they duly deserve.

For Those I Love is the moniker used by Dublin visual artist and producer, David Balfe. The project is a personal one that’s born out of Balfe’s grief and his inner workings to try and control it. His debut single, ‘I Have A Love’ acts as the perfect invitation into this dark, gritty yet enticing world that the Irish artist created that sounds like nothing else out there. Despite only releasing two tracks so far, Balfe is one to watch.

Balfe grew up in north Dublin suburb Donaghmede with additional family roots in neighbouring Coolock. He was always acutely aware of societal inequality from a young age due to his family. While he came from working-class stock, other parts of his family were more affluent. The difference between these two lifestyles was unavoidable.

Music has always been a source of escapism for Balfe. He built his dearest friendships upon this, and some of his most precious memories derive from bonding over sounds. Balfe conceived of For Those I Love as a solo project when he was still a member of punk band Burnt Out, he planned the project as a mechanism to show appreciation for the people who make life worth living. 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. Since then, Balfe has poured his grief into this project.

Speaking about the debut single, ‘I Have A Love’, Balfe previously commented: “The art is all we ever had. The books, the tunes, the films. Since we were kids it was the foundation of our love. It was the path towards hope. Ya grow older and feel as cold as ya did when you were hiding from the brutality of the world. And the only peace you find is in the songs you make with your mates. When it happened, and life froze over, the only way out was through the songs. How else can I show my love, how else can I remember what we had and what we made, but through the art itself. I have a love, And it never fades, And neither will you, Paul”.

The track sees Balfe eulogise about Curran in his thick Dublin accent over a heavenly piece of music that contrasts with his voice magnificently. I defy anybody to listen to this song without getting a lump in their throat. Balfe followed up this track in October with the synth-heavy second single, ‘Top Scheme’, which is a more aggressive effort than the sombre predecessor and shows the many ways that grief can reveal itself.

“Even if that hadn’t occurred,” Balfe said in a press release referring to Paul’s death, “the album would have looked at our friendships against the backdrop of how we grew up and where we grew up. It wasn’t ever going to just be a ‘Kumbaya, My Lord,’ it was more a testament what we survived and how we learned to love each other.”

Balfe’s work as For Those I Love is jam-packed with raw emotion that will leave the listener awe-struck by just how unfiltered and passionate his delivery is. In a packed filled field of artists all trying to become the next star who becomes a TikTok trend, Balfe is standing up defiantly as a lone wolf and creating heartfelt art that will immediately leave a stain on your heart.

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