Great art gives us the licence to live experiences different from our own through the prism of lasting sounds that call to us and visuals that captivate us. In this way, For Those I Love is a shout that compels us to understand, communicate and listen. A piece wherein the artist in question contorts his reality, his life, his loves, his grief into a soundscape that bestows us with that licence.
For Those I Love is an emotionally brave album, and For Those I Love is a fearless artist. Starting with the shredded shimmer slow-burn of ‘I Have A Love’, the conviction of lines like “I have a love, and it never fades. Full of plights and gripes, like Achilles. Who loves fights. Like you did, right? And we did, twice I will love you beyond life” hit with deep intensity.
As the words work with an authenticity that only genuine moments lived can give, the beats follow suit. Melding found sound elements into its jagged tapestry, seen on the densely layered ‘To Have You’ and the lush ‘You Stayed / To Live’, For Those I Love takes shape via overheard and half-remembered conversations, fragmented and melded into sounds that over-power them.
Indeed, it appears as if a world of sound falls around these moments. Juxtaposed textures found on ‘Birthday / The Pain’ contrast, as lines like “Terrified, I went quiet, and I stood, and I started to run from love. Cause you’re told. You need to grow cold” tackle grief, trauma and insidious toxic masculinity with a Meer turn of phrase. While the beats build around it with almost escapist vibrancy.
But its with the snarled fury of ‘Top Scheme’ that For Those I Love carves his chef-d’œuvre. A short, sharp shock, the track rages against classism with frustration that only those who have lived under it can convey. “Your posh drugs aren’t interesting. You hate workers. You hate those that can’t. Your drugs aren’t class; they’re upper-middle class,” says it all.
And so it goes; music is about creating a voice. How an artist uses that voice is what draws us in. On his self-titled debut album, For Those I Love, shouts so the world can hear, and in turn, gives us the listener the licence to view the world through his different perspective. And, that’s something that lasts, that’s something great.