For Those I Love – I Have A Love

“I have a love and it never fades”

Sometimes the best way to cope with loss is to create something new. 

Whether you choose to paint, write, curate memories or do something altogether more personal, finding an artistic outlet in which to explore the death of a loved one is an essential part of grieving and coping. 

It’s art at its most primal and it’s what makes I Have A Love so powerful.

Recorded by Irish musician David Balfe after his best friend and emerging poet Paul Curran committed suicide, I Have A Love cribs some ideas from The Streets but is strikingly minimal and affecting in its own way.

It starts with a simple lopped piano; a siren that warns the listener to Balfe’s coming grief. It weaves in and out of the track like an ambulance futilely attempting to reach its quarry.

I have a love and it never fades”

Balfe’s spoken-word promise breaks with a wave of distorted bass. Somehow, it feels more powerful in his thick Irish accent as his stanzas sketch the outline of Dublin’s music scene and nightlife which framed his and Curran’s friendship.

I have a love and it never fades”

He repeats, colouring in the shapes of his sadness with layered flutes as he wrestles with an existential crisis and questions of faith.

I have a love and it never fades”

He adds texture with the gentle brushstrokes of cymbals while audio records of Paul, accompanied by an 808 beat and a solitary synth, make their friendship real to the listener before Balfe’s feelings finally burst into a torrent of mourning.

I have a love and it never fades”

The outpouring of love in the words that follow is beautiful. Balfe’s memories are defiantly vivid. He simply refuses to forget. It’s a coping mechanism. A promise to the ether. A promise to Paul.

I have a love and it never fades”

It captures the essence of why people still talk to departed loved ones when they are alone. Why they pray – even if they’re not religious. And why after losing my Mother, Father, Sister and Nephew I rarely visit their graves.

I simply refuse to let crying at their headstones overtake my memories of who they were and our time spent together.

I have a love and it never fades.