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130701 / FATCAT RECORDS

Keeley Forsyth

The Hollow

    Keeley Forsyth is a singer, composer and actress from Oldham, UK. A frequent presence on primetime TV since the mid-'90s, over the past few years she has forged an unusual parallel career as a unique and uncompromising new presence in contemporary music. Described by Pitchfork as “arid and beautiful”, by Uncut as "astonishing" and The Sunday Times as "one of the most remarkable in years”, Keeley's debut LP 'Debris' (2020) and follow-up 'Limbs' (2022) drew unanimous critical praise, prompting comparisons with Nico, Beth Gibbons, Aldous Harding, Nick Cave, Anohni and even Scott Walker. It's often stated that no one else is making music quite like this.

    The bleak and foreboding landscape surrounding Keeley's North Yorkshire home seems to inhabit her third LP, 'The Hollow'. The moors, visible from her studio window, impact upon a music that feels made of these places: windswept, rain-soaked and blinking through the low-lit landscape. The album's title derives from discovering a long-abandoned mining shaft whilst out walking - 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 that time has no concern as to whether we're here or not.

    Keeley's unique elemental voice again sits centrally within this world-building. Her cathartic reflections are exorcisms in song. We hear an artist making sense of her life, willing to expose vulnerability without ever appearing weak. Working again with producer Ross Downes, the LP features Matthew Bourne and Colin Stetson, Forsyth sought to expand both her voice and music. Taking aspects of sacred music, minimalist post-classical, dark ambient, film and theatre soundtracks, she layers her vocals into chamber choirs, applies pitch shifts and other digital processing, moves from clear articulate intention to mumbled numb utterances.

    Composer Mihály Vig's score to Bela Tarr’s film 'The Turin Horse' is reimagined as a pressurised outpouring, recasting the everyday within a mythical light of survival and hope. On ‘A Shift’, Mal Finch's protest song ‘We Are Women, We Are Strong ‘, originally sung by wives and daughters in support of the '80s miner’s strikes, is recontextualised in solidarity for an experience of creative labour.

    A sought-after collaborator, Keeley is currently working towards new projects with Ben Frost, Teho Teardo, and Matthew Bourne. She has provided vocals for Louis Carnell; remixed both Gazelle Twin and Quin Quis; has soundtracked Maxine Peake’s directorial debut; and is currently developing a stage and studio project with Ben Frost and writer Robert MacFarlane.

    A magnetic live performer able to create an immersive almost ritualistic experience, Keeley recently received a standing ovation at Unsound and supports the LP with shows at Bristol New Music, Rewire festival and London's ICA.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A monolithic slab of otherworldly cascading vocals and foreboding postclassical heft, Keeley Forsyth has crafted a terrifying and hugely moving LP that falls somewhere between ambient soundtrack business, gothic folk and drone, and honestly I couldn't be any more on board. Stunning.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. The Answer
    2. The Hollow
    3. Come And See
    4. Eve
    5. Turning
    6. A Shift
    Side B
    1. Slush
    2. Drag Me Down
    3. Do I Breathe
    4. In The Corner
    5. Horse
    6. Creature


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