Born and raised in Oldham in the north-west of England, Forsyth first made her name as an actor, but while the creation of music has been a constant feature in her life, she’s taken the long road to its release. A
deeply intuitive and singular musician, she began writing several years ago, accompanying herself on harmonium and accordion, but reveals that “I never really acknowledged that I was making music. It was just something I did that was a bit more private.”
Despite this, following an introduction by mutual friend Maxine Peake, Forsyth began working with Sheffield’s Eccentronic Research Council, who were seduced by a voice they describe as “the bastard love
child of Peggy Lee and Nico.” While the fruits of those sessions have not yet seen the light of day, they inspired in the hitherto reclusive artist an intensely creative burst, with songs equal parts fragile and monolithic, ghostly and corporeal, tender and potent, cathartic and stirring. “I came up with lots in a very short space of time,” Forsyth recalls. “Most songs were written in the time it took to sing them. But I heldthem close, and often thought I needed to do something with them. It never felt right to go out and look for it. I felt like I needed to wait and move when I felt inspired.”
That inspiration struck one evening while listening to the radio, where she first encountered pianist and composer Matthew Bourne’s work. “I heard his music and suddenly I could hear them both together,” she
says of her songs and his compositions. “I felt compelled to write to him. He got straight back and said he loved what I was doing.” What followed were quick and instinctive collaborations with Bourne and
producer and musician Sam Hobbs, with the initial burst of momentum Forsyth felt when writing carriedthrough into the studio, preserving the intricacies and accidents that make an album human.