Tori Forsyth’s “Down Below” is a gut-wrenching grunge stomp that tackles erosive feelings of paranoia and anxiety. “It’s about conflict that people drum up in their own head” she says. Based on Tori’s own countless experiences,“Down Below” is a raw, visceral rock song that captures how we can misread personal interactions and let our anxious internal monologue wreck our rational thinking.
The song sonically mirrors this particular mental spiral, slowly building to a quaking, cathartic chorus.“I’ll take you with me down below” bellows Tori over a splinter of surging 90s guitars. The line is delivered with a perfect blend of pop hooks and punk force; A Shirely Manson for the modern era. The song is searing, but it’s also comforting, with an underlying message of how anxiety and inadequacy are experiences we all face collectively. “The ethos of the song is that everyone is on a level-playing field” she adds. The song arrives accompanied with an eerie, kinetic video Tori describes as “Shutter Island meets Girl, Interrupted”.
The track was written early last year, while Tori was recovering from surgery at her parent’s home. The song spilled out of her, written in a moment of inspiration on a grand piano. The recording was similarly speedy with Tori laying down the entire song during one long recording session.
“Down Below” follows on from last year’s reinvention, “Be Here”. The song is an unfliciting portrayal of dealing with a partner’s addiction issues that channels 90s firebrands such as PJ Harvey, The Cranberries and Sound Garden. It was a left-turn for the Hunter Valley-born artist, who began her career writing affecting country-folk ballads. She began playing guitar at sixteen, when her dad bought her a guitar so they could play music together. “He stopped and I kept going,” she says.
Despite Tori’s evolving sound over the years, her blistering confessional songwriting and delicate pop melodies have remained constant, and will no doubt feature as she buckles down to work on new music. If “Down Below” is anything to go by, we can expect nothing less than infectious, emotive rock from this rising Australian force.