I’ve spent a concerning amount of time thinking about the work of David Balfe, something my friends are all painfully aware of by now. This obsession with their creative world started almost by chance, with a listener of a podcast I occasionally edit shouting out his Jools Holland performance – sending me down this rabbit hole in the process. To say that Balfe’s performance struck me emotionally would be an understatement – the weeks following my initial exposure were spent obsessively trawling the internet for any sparse information, shouting at friends about it’s major importance, and counting the days down until the March 26th release date of ‘For Those I Love’. The project had initially been released in 2019 for the immediate friends and family of the musician and that fact nearly tortured me – I knew it was out there in the digital ether and finding the few remaining traces of it became my main coping mechanism as lockdown dragged on. ‘For Those I Love’ is a record that infinitely more interesting and talented writers have covered and because of that I’m going to be a bit more specific in my approach – you most likely know how cool this album is and because of that I want to focus in on what fuelled my initial obsession, what made these deeply personal tracks about friendship and loss so utterly poignant, and what prevented me from being understandable by non-Irish mutuals for the past while. Balfe’s music melted my brain in the best possible way, here’s a lame attempt to explain why.