For Those I Love, the brainchild of Dublin producer and songwriter David Balfe, released his debut album to significant public and critical acclaim last month, including the coveted Feature Album on Double J this week, who praised the record as “one of the most affecting records of 2021 and might be one of the most affecting records you hear in your life.”
Today, he follows the release with a poignant film directed by award-winning Irish director Hugh Mulhern(Fontaines D.C., Inhaler). Watch HERE.
The 17-minute piece contains both a narrative storyline as well as live performances from David and was shot at the home of Shelbourne F.C., Tolka Park. Referenced throughout the album, the club has played an integral role in the For Those I Love story and is a place that David and close friends would congregate after Paul’s passing, cheering on the team that meant such a lot to their friend.
The film speaks great truths of friendships, hurt and grief, the power of empathy and community in times of loss, and sees David perform three of the most personal pieces from the record – its motif and beating heart in ‘I Have A Love‘, the searching ‘The Myth / I Don’t‘ and the album’s penultimate track ‘You Live / No One Like You‘ that plays and ruminates on what they held so dear and – with David now stood overlooking the Tolka pitch.
Paul Curran’s ashes were scattered on the pitch and the stark photo that adorns the cover of the album depicts a flare held aloft from the terraces of the stadium, lit in the 27th minute of a game in honour to Paul who lost his life at 27 years old. The film speaks great truths of friendships, hurt and grief, the power of empathy and community in times of loss, and sees David perform three of the most personal pieces from the record – its motif and beating heart in ‘I Have A Love‘, the searching ‘The Myth / I Don’t‘ and the album’s penultimate track ‘You Live / No One Like You‘ that plays and ruminates on what they held so dear and – with David now stood overlooking the Tolka pitch.
Speaking of his inspiration and direction for the piece, Hugh shares: “My intention with this film is to provide the same space for grief. While the album is about Paul, I wanted to provide a wider context of loss in the film. On a personal level, it provided me with something massive. My uncle Kieran appears in this film talking about my Dad, Mick and my uncle John. John left us this year and I couldn’t go home with lockdown. I think grief never leaves you, it just changes shape and size. When I find it in a particularly pointed form, For Those I Love is something I’ve found a release in.
We didn’t lose Mick or John to suicide but their deaths were a direct result of their battles with alcoholism. Our lead actor Tony Doyle drew on his own experience getting sober and losing friends to suicide. It’s hard not to see how they all correlate. It’s hard not to see the impact of a collective intergenerational trauma and for me not to acknowledge [the deaths of] Jack, John, Mick and Paul as symptoms of a deeply rooted problem in Irish society. I wanted this film to focus on those left behind, because that’s all who’s left. Although this piece is an exploration of pain I wanted there to be hope in its conclusion. I believe we can only make the world a better place than we left it by imagining it as so.”
For Those I Love is out now, buy/stream it here.
FOR THOSE I LOVE
Album Of The Week
“Hauntingly beautiful and mesmerisingly honest,
For Those I Love has delivered a debut album that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard”
Rolling Stone Australia
“An exorcism of grief on the dancefloor”
The Guardian (Album Of The Week)
“An immaculate debut”