At just 24 and with numerous ARIA and APRA accolades under her belt, Tori Forsyth is back a year after releasing her debut album with blistering new single “Be Here”. Actions speak louder than words is the potent message behind the song, in which Forsyth is worn down by the empty promises of an addicted lover.
“And I’m here when you’re there
Different books, different mess
Change is good, that I swear
But when you do I won’t be here.”
Based on her own experiences of dealing with a partner’s addiction, “Be Here” is real, raw and honest in the vein of the best confessional rock, with Forsyth snarling over scorched guitars as she lays down the law. Jangly, whirring guitar lines spin through the mix like a hurricane, mimicking the all-consuming vortex of addiction, but Forsyth makes her position clear: give it up, or you’ll lose me. “Words are different they mean the same, heard it all, what a shame,” she sneers, fresh out of pity. Forsyth has never shied away from revealing herself in song, but she’s never sounded this powerful before, either.
“Be Here” speaks to a lifetime of listening to strong, provocative frontwomen and female-fronted bands – Hole, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Joan Jett – and parlaying that inspiration into something authentic and visceral. Forsyth also names Nirvana, Soundgarden and Audioslave as influences when writing the track. “I was listening to a lot of that ‘90s stuff I guess, I became intrigued by the entire scene and the whole back story, I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole,” she laughs.
Like her idols, Forsyth is able to distil her emotions with startling maturity and clarity. “Forsyth possesses the kind of world-weariness and brevity that belies her experience in the business and in life,” noted Bronwyn Thompson in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald last year.
Hailing from Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley, Forsyth has always been surrounded by eclectic sounds, from Fleetwood Mac to Elvis to ‘70s rock to Madonna. This richly varied musical upbringing has resulted in an artist who’s hard to categorise – not that she’d want you to put her in a box. “As a creative, that freedom to move in and out of phases and for people to embrace them for what they are, I think that’s really important,” she says.
“Be Here” is the sound of a thrilling young talent spreading her wings.