If it hadn’t been for Ruston Kelly reposting a picture of her performing on stage while wearing his “Dirt Emo” shirt, I might not have discovered Tori Forysth. I immediately gave her album a listen and became an instant fan.
Growing up in a rural farm town in New South Wales, Australia, Tori Forsyth forged her love for writing and playing music. Drawing from influences such as Stevie Nicks, Johnny Cash, Chris Cornell, and Nirvana she was destined to create unique music, both badass and beautiful, with a rebellious attitude that speaks to an alternative crowd. With the release of her debut full-length album, Dawn of the Dark, she’s proven her talent as a singer-songwriter.
Right out of the gates, Tori Forsyth showcases her lyrical and vocal depth with the opening track “Grave Robber’s Daughter”. It’s a perfect way to open the album as it gives a glimpse of her darker tones and fully displays her strong songwriting skills.
The album then moves right into “Broke Machine” as the second track. It’s a more stripped down song with minimal instrumentation that puts her vocal talent in the forefront. “Broke Machine” reveals a more delicate and emotional side to her style and her ability to write sad country songs that Willie Nelson himself would be proud of.
“Redemption” is without a doubt one of the highlight songs on Dawn Of The Dark. Both lyrically and sonically this song just has an undeniable grit and edginess that you can’t help but enjoy. I feel that if Johnny Cash had heard this song before he recorded his live album at Folsom Prison, he might’ve added this to the setlist.
Sometimes the simplest songs are the ones that speak to you the most. “Heart’s On The Ground” is one of my favorite songs on the album because of its simplicity. Songs like these are the ones that reinforce the old country music description of “three chords and the truth”.
As badass as Tori Forsyth is in her more heavily produced songs, her beautifully raw vocal talent shines most brightly in the stripped down emotional tracks. “Fiddle” is another perfect example of that where she delivers a powerful performance.
With “In The Morning”, another focus track on the album, Tori Forsyth delivers another robust and compelling full sound. The music video showcases her darker style and cinematic vision.
“Hell’s Lullaby” is an undeniable standout song on the album. It features a stirring string section and one of her most emotional vocal performances.
Dawn of the Dark wraps up with the remaining tracks “Violet Town”, “White Noise”, and “Kings Horses”, all of which are great songs on their own, and together effectively brings this excellent album to a close.
I love discovering artists like Tori that play within the country sphere but bleed into alternative sounds and styles. And it’s refreshing to hear them maintain a certain purity and integrity to their songwriting, something that is sometimes lacking within the mainstream country genre. Whether she categorizes herself as “alt-country” or “dirt emo” (like Ruston Kelly), the bottom line is that she’s doing something different and it works.
Fingers crossed for new music from Tori Forsyth this year as well as a US tour.
Dawn Of The Dark release date: 05.25.18 | Label: Lost Highway / Universal Music Australia