Keeley Forsyth

Keeley Forsyth





Watch the video for ‘Horse’ here:

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Keeley Forsyth¬†has today announced¬†The Hollow, her third album, and debut for¬†FatCat‘s¬†130701¬†imprint, will be released on 10 May. Along with the announcement she has shared the video for lead single ‘Horse’ which just had it’s first play by¬†BBC 6 Music‘s¬†Mary Anne Hobbs.

‘Horse’ was inspired by the themes of domestic duty, poverty, love, and compassion depicted in¬†Bela Tarr‚Äôs final film,¬†The Turin Horse. She contacted its composer and Tarr‚Äôs long-time collaborator¬†Mih√°ly Vig¬†to ask for permission to ‚Äėreimagine‚Äô his soundtrack score. With his blessing the resulting track is a pressurised outpouring, steadily building as the everyday is cast within a new mythical light of survival and hope.

“The fire must keep / My father must sleep / Around this house I creep”

Speaking of the track Forsyth says:
“With this track, I roamed, capturing vocals in different spaces, forging a connection as I sang. I imagined battling against an invisible force, facing down challenges, pressing on, determined to breathe in this. I chose to refuse to be shackled by the chains of language here, surrendering instead to the primal dance of my body’s urges. My mouth moves in sync with the shallow breaths of my gut, and impulse guiding my every wordless utterance.”

The wilds of Keeley Forsyth’s adopted home in the North of England seem to inhabit this, her third record. An often foreboding landscape surrounds the Yorkshire town in which Forsyth resides. The moors, on clear days, visible from her home studio window, impact upon a music that often feels made of these places. Windswept, rain soaked and blinking through the low-lit landscape.

The title for the new collection derives from happening upon a long-abandoned mining shaft whilst out walking. At once alluring and hazardous, forced into a hillside, ‚Äúthere appeared a room and ever darkening hallway carved out of the ground. A place to be swallowed by, but also to emerge from‚ÄĚ. It‚Äôs this push and pull that is reflected in the tone, craft, and preoccupations of¬†The Hollow. The past lurking within and haunting the present we now occupy. A connection to time that places us within it, facing what is gone and what may come. But also, perhaps the harsh notion that time has no concern as to whether we are here or not. ‚ÄúThere is a bleak dust that hides on the cracks‚ÄĚ.

At the beginning of 2023, Forsyth lost the woman who raised her from birth. Estranged from her parents, Forsyth was taken in and brought up by her grandmother Mary on a council estate in Oldham. It was Mary who encouraged the acting and singing from an early age having Forsyth attend the Oldham Theatre Workshop, a community-based theatre school prided on principles of inclusivity. The song ‚ÄėEve‚Äô is dedicated to her, reflecting upon and processing the sensation of going through loss as it is happening.

There are experiments with an expanding field of collaborators and approaches. Forsyth‚Äôs good friend¬†Matthew Bourne¬†returns and¬†Colin Stetson¬†was invited after Forsyth attended his solo live show, admiring his singular approach, at once technically brilliant and emotionally captivating. ‚ÄúWe decided to try something together. I could hear the marriage of these sounds, both very human expressions, coming from the control of breath and breathing‚ÄĚ. Working again with producer¬†Ross Downes, (Photograph¬†and¬†Limbs) Forsyth desired to place the music to the side of any given genre. ‚ÄúWe wanted to make something slightly more expansive, continuing to reference what we love from various genres without ever belong-ing to one‚ÄĚ. It‚Äôs with this ethos that we recognise aspects of sacred music, minimalist post-classical, dark ambient, film and theatre soundtracks. Forsyth layered her vocals into chamber choirs, applied pitch shifts and other digital processing, and speaks directly with clear articulate intention one moment to mumbled numb utterances in the next.

Although having made music privately for most of her life it was only eventually in 2020 that she felt ready to find an audience with the release of her debut collection Debris. Since then, Forsyth has toured extensively internationally with forthcoming shows scheduled at London’s ICA, Rewire festival in DenHaag and Bristol New Music. She has been awarded the PRS new music commission for her performance piece Bog Body and has scored Maxine Peake’s directorial debut short film, Incompatible. She has become a sought-after collaborator, currently working towards projects with the Iceland-based electronic music producer Ben Frost, and the Italian composer Teho Teardo and is currently finishing a suite of songs for voice and piano with Matthew Bourne. Of late she has taken on guest vocal duties for Louis Carnell among others, as well as remixes for Gazelle Twin and French electronic musician Quin Quis. Forsyth has also returned to acting in the past year with parts in Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things.

Photo credit: William Lacalmontie

High-res images can be found here

Pre-order The Hollow, including a 350 limited Dinked edition, here:

The Hollow tracklist:

1. Answer
2. The Hollow
3. Come And See
4. Eve
5. Turning (feat. Colin Stetson)
6. A Shift
7. Slush
8. Drag Me Down
9. Do I Breathe
10. In The Corner
11. Horse
12. Creature (feat. Matthew Bourne)

Live dates:

6 Apr –¬†The Hague, NL @ Rewire Festival
27 Apr –¬†Bristol¬†@ Lantern Hall, Bristol New Music
23 May –¬†London¬†@ Institute of Contemporary Arts

Tickets are available here: