Allison Forbes is from Tamworth, NSW/Kamilaroi country, a fact that does not make her musical prowess inevitable but which is a nice piece of synergy considering that Forbes is so very accomplished at what she does, which is writing songs that hit you in the gut and heart and mind, and singing them in a way that ensures they linger and, sometimes, haunt.
Forbes’s latest single, ‘Save You Now’, is an exemplar of these qualities. Its lyrics are about what happens when a person cuts themselves off from others, either through their behaviour or with intention, and then finds themselves without anyone. ‘Look at the mess you made,’ sings Forbes – but she sings it with compassion. And when she sings the title refrain, it’s also from a place of care. Even though the lyrics say that no one is there to come to the rescue, her voice conveys something else, suggesting that this is not a diatribe but a plea to the subject of the song: there’s still time to sort things out, and people do care. It’s impossible not to be moved by that voice, and that plea.
Forbes’s last album, Bonedigger, brought her Golden Guitar nominations. It was produced by Shane Nicholson, who provides backing vocals on ‘Save You Now’ – which was actually produced by Matt Fell, who also produced the forthcoming album it’s from, Dead Man Tell No Tales, which will be released later this year. This glimpse of the album to come suggests further riches from an already golden artist.