WHEN Tori Forsyth was recovering in November 2018 after undergoing surgery for endometriosis it wasn't the country music from her youth that helped soothe the pain she was experiencing.
It was grunge. The pulsating switches between soft and loud, the distorted guitar and the melodic rhythms imbued with punk anarchy.
Just this week Forsyth wrote a blog on her website entitled "How Grunge Saved My Life" where she discussed her love of Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Hole.
At the top of Forsyth's playlist was Nirvana's 1993 album In Utero. The Seattle band's caustic last creation before frontman Kurt Cobain shot himself on April 5, 1994.
"When I had my surgery for endometriosis a couple of years ago I fell down that rabbit hole of Nirvana," Forsyth says. "This is kind of the leeway record that led me into lots of new music.
"I still listen to it all the time, as well as the [first] Audioslave record. I just love this record and I think it has everything in it."
In Utero's release in September 1993 came at the height of the grunge boom when Nirvana were the world's most important rock band and Cobain was considered the troubled spokesman for Generation X.
But rather than attempt to repeat the more polished and melodic sound of 1991's groundbreaking Nevermind album, Cobain delivered a visceral and corrosive record that his label initially hated.
Over time, In Utero and tracks like Heart-Shaped Box, Pennyroyal Tea and All Apologises have become considered among Cobain's finest work.
Forsyth says it wasn't just the music of In Utero that intrigued her. The album's back story and Cobain's state of mind as he struggled with fame and heroin addiction have weaved an undeniable mythology behind the songs. Forsyth has digested various books and documentaries about the record.
"That's what makes it so special is that it's not commercial, but it really is," she says. "It feels like there's still pop melodies in there, which is really cool, it's just the production is not polished like Nevermind was.
"I think that was their biggest thing with Nevermind, how polished and everything it was. Whereas this is back to their Bleach roots as far as production."
Fans of Forsyth's brand of alt-country would be hard pressed to find Nirvana influences within her 2018 debut album Dawn On The Dark or her 2015 EP Blackbird.
But since becoming immersed in grunge, Forsyth's music has taken an alt-rock turn on her recent singles Be Here and Down Below, released on Friday.
"They kept everything simple, chord progression wise," she says of what she learnt from In Utero. "I taught myself to play bar chords with this record.
"It was one of the records I listened to when learning bar chords. I think it's definitely had an impact on my writing as I'm probably more drawn to using the new things I've learnt."