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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Keeley Forsyth: how the Happy Valley actor became the new Scott Walker


Keeley Forsyth: how the Happy Valley actor became the new Scott Walker

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Thu 9 Jan 2020 5:00 pm

She was enjoying a successful if gruelling film and TV career when serious illness struck. But Forsyth has channelled that experience into a bleakly beautiful avant-garde album

Yorkshire is the backdrop to many disquieting works of art, such as David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the Brontës’ explorations of the soul. The newest is Debris, an album made by a 40-year-old actor with a familiar, pale-eyed, haunting face, whom we have seen in recent years playing a sex worker in Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and heroin addicts in The Casual Vacancy and Waterloo Road.

Keeley Forsyth’s debut as a musician is an avant-garde proposition, however: a shivery descendent of Scott Walker’s Tilt, a more unsettling older sister of Aldous Harding’s Designer. 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.

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