There has been a lot of great music coming out of Dublin over the last few years, but I’m going to be honest...this record caught me completely by surprise. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but by the end of it, I was both in tears and smiling ear to ear at the same time.
The beauty of “For Those I Love” lies not in the hypnotic dance grooves and layered electronic textures of the record, but in the somber, poignant and heartfelt lyricism that David Balfe recites in a spoken-word cadence. This record is a eulogy for a fallen comerade. It is the product of a personal loss of catastrophic proportions. Losing someone close to you via suicide is perhaps one of the most sobering experiences a person can go through. It leaves you wondering why and how you could have helped and with far more questions than answers. This record feels like Balfe coming to terms with his loss and also celebrating a life at the same time. I don’t wanna spoil the lyrics at all because I think they are some of the best i’ve heard all year, but damn this is some heavy shit.
The whole time I was listening, I couldn’t help but think of the Coen Brothers’ acclaimed film “Inside Llewyn Davis” which sees a 1960s NYC folk singer struggling to cope with the very same kind of loss that Balfe is dealing with. I found it interesting comparing the music from that film with what I heard here and thinking about how differently people process both grief and trauma. For some people it can absolutely tear their world apart brick by brick, and for others it can rekindle a sense of aliveness within them and inspire them to do more or make something beautiful.
I am absolutely in love with this record. Normally I would feel like the upbeat, triumphant instrumentals would clash with such devastating emotional lyricism but this was just done so well that it absolutely works! This is a fantastically unique and captivating record that took me completely by surprise, and I am so glad I gave it a listen! HIGHLY RECOMMEND GIVING THIS A SHOT!!!