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Keeley Forsyth

Keeley Forsyth

Keeley Forsyth is a singer, composer and actress from Oldham, UK. Having been a frequent presence on primetime TV since the mid-'90s, over the past few years she has struck out to forge an unusual parallel career as a powerful, unique, and uncompromising new presence in contemporary music.

Based around the raw emotionality of her singular voice and striking physical performance, there is a steely sense of purpose and a stark, bleak beauty in Keeley's world-building. Taking cues from the rugged expanses of her native North Yorkshire landscape, the edge-of-reason existential intensity of Samuel Beckett and Bela Tarr, Antonin Artaud's Theatre Of Cruelty, the neo-expressionist choreography of Pina Bausch, and delivered within a sharply styled monochrome visual aesthetic, her work probes beneath the veneer of everyday life to explore often dark and weighty themes, seeking deeper truths and motivations. Shining a light through that darkness, a 2020 Guardian feature suggested that "Forsyth’s voice marries Peggy Lee’s bluesy vibrato with Nico’s thunderous terror, and delivers lyrics that invert nature, as a way of exploring despair. Large oaks descend and grow roots. Salt hills move. Madness unfurls."

Described by Pitchfork as “an arid and beautiful debut”, by Uncut as "astonishing" and by The Sunday Times as "one of the most remarkable in years”, Keeley's debut album 'Debris' was released in 2020 and followed by 2022’s 'Limbs'. Both records drew unanimous critical praise, prompting comparisons with Nico, Nick Cave, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, Aldous Harding, Anohni and even Scott Walker. It is often stated that no one else is making music quite like this. The iconoclastic nature of Keeley’s sound finds disparate influences from various genres without seeming to belong to one itself. In Spring 2024, she releases her third studio album ‘The Hollow’ on FatCat's 130701 imprint.

Having trained as a dancer, Keeley's live shows are animated with a powerful physicality and a focus on the moment that feels close to performance art. She has left an indelible mark on stages around the world, including Unsound, Dark Mofo, Le Guess Who?, CTM, and Donau. A magnetic presence, she transcends regular stagecraft and live conventions to craft an immersive ceremonial experience that can at once feel ritualistic and Beckettian, drawing the audience into a world of her own manifesting. Within this, Keeley forges connections that are simultaneously fierce and tender, invoking primal, animalistic energy with moments of ethereal softness. She defies easy categorisation, embodying spoken word and deftly manipulating her sonic landscape, refusing to be confined by conventional artistic boundaries or expectations.

In recent years Keeley has worked with esteemed collaborators including Matthew Bourne, Colin Stetson, Teho Teardo, Gazelle Twin, Evelyn Glennie, Yann Tiersen among others. She has soundtracked Maxine Peake’s directorial debut, developed a unique performance piece commissioned as part of her 2022 New Music Biennial award and is currently developing a stage project and studio record with electronic music producer and composer Ben Frost and writer Robert MacFarlane.

Keeley continues to occasionally act for film and TV with 2023 finding her appear in Jessica Hausner’s dark satire 'Club Zero' as well as a small character part in Yorgos Lanthimos’s celebrated and multi-award winning 'Poor Things'.


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