Wednesday 24 July 2019

Carla dal Forno - Took a Long Time

Today Carla dal Forno announced a new album, Look Up Sharp, to be released on October 4th via her own label, Kallista Records. Along with the announcement, she put out a new single titled “Took a Long Time”. It is our second glimpse into the album; the first is “So Much Better”, which she released in April as part of an EP. Her announcement today offers some insight into its motivating themes:

“In a transformative move towards crystal clear vocals and sharpened production, Look Up Sharp is an evolutionary leap from the thick fog and pastoral stillness of her Blackest Ever Black missives, You Know What It’s Like (2016) and The Garden EP (2017). Three years since her plain-speaking debut album, the Melbourne-via-Berlin artist finds herself absorbed in London’s sprawling mess. The small-town dreams and inertia that preoccupied dal Forno’s first album have dissolved into the chaotic city, its shifting identities, far-flung surroundings and blank faces. Look Up Sharp is the story of this life in flux, longing for intimacy, falling short and embracing the unfamiliar.”

While dal Forno’s production may be cleaner, sharper, the fog is still present, only maybe now its celestial fog - fog transmitted from some astral plane, in the form of psychedelic dream-pop synths and echoing, understated percussion. ‘Intentional’ is the term that comes to mind. Her lyrics tell a story, a story about intimacy – in this case about “meeting someone you like and not being able to tell yet if they like you too”. Her lyricism is economical. Her voice is plaintive, tinged with regret, or perhaps just with a longing to go back and understand, to make sense of things. And the song chugs along, steadily, intentionally, that dominant humid bass-line holding it down.I get an image of a train on the way out of a city, with Carla dal Forno pensively singing, eyes fixed on the landscape through the window, her thoughts still trapped in London.

The up-close, sunburnt, textural music video is the work of Ludovic Sauvage.

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