On the surface, David Balfe’s ‘For Those I Love‘ project has a simple, harrowing story: an album made to process the grief Balfe experienced when his best friend (and his bandmate in punk band Burnt Out) Paul Curran committed suicide, mere days before they were due to finish the album they’d been working on. Yet listen closer and that story disintegrates, tessellating into dozens of smaller stories: fragments of anecdotes, snapshots of memories, snatches of shared experience… The moments from which the silent bonds of the closest male friendships are forged. Balfe’s soft, stream-of-consciousness delivery might bring to mind Mike Skinner’s The Streets – or more pointedly, Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat – but his romanticism is of a darker note, which is matched by the production. Glossy, airy, and shimmering, it’s a potent cocktail of nostalgia and melancholy distilled into electronic form.
Scottish cult-pop bon vivants Arab Strap – aka Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton – got back together after an amicable breakup in 2016 to play a string of reunion shows. Now, they return with their first new music in 15 years, since the release of their 2005 album The Last Romance. Their new song, “The Turning Of Our Bones,” will be included on a 7″ that’ll be out in October with a B-side called “The Jumper.”