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Keeley Forsyth - The Hollow (Preorder 10/05/24)

Keeley Forsyth - The Hollow (Preorder 10/05/24)

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Keeley Forsyth - The Hollow

Label: - LP13-56 - 0600116135612
Format: LP, Album, Black
Country: UK
Released: 10th May 2024
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Style: Singer/Songwriter

The wilds of Keeley Forsyth’s adopted home in the North of England seem to inhabit this, her third record. An often bleak and 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. It is here through the gloaming mist that the storm breaks and the fox tears at the throat as the Red Kites circle to scavenge whatever’s left. “There was a sound I had in my head. One to reach, that hovers above and is slightly less grounded. But a sound and feeling that nonetheless is inevitably tethered to the soil”.

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, “there appeared a room and ever darkening hallway carved out of the ground. A place to be swallowed by, but also to emerge from”. It’s 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. “There is a bleak dust that hides on the cracks”.

The unique elemental voice with which we are now familiar from her critically acclaimed previous recordings sits centrally confident in a world that is of Forsyth’s making. Drawing upon personal experience without being overly literal or illustrative, Forsyth’s cathartic reflections are exorcisms in song. Songs peopled by a legion of empathetic characters and voices all of whom share something of herself. We hear an artist making sense of her life, willing to expose vulnerability without ever appearing or sounding weak but also as she states, “not wanting to dictate or control the meaning of these songs to those who may listen”.

There are experiments with an expanding field of collaborators and approaches. Forsyth’s good friend Matthew Bourne returns to end the record with the delicately paired down ‘Creature’. Colin Stetson was invited after Forsyth attended his solo live show, admiring his singular approach, at once technically brilliant and emotionally captivating. “We 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”. The resulting track, ‘Turning’, is a feverish cyclical dervish with Stetson utilising a range of saxophones to create a Glass-like arpeggiated stampede for Forsyth to ride alongside.

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