Carla dal Forno | Look Up Sharp |Kallista Records
Release Date: October 4th, 2019
Feature Image: Carla dal Forno by @zachrisson
Honeyed melancholia blooms within the navigation of everyday life; as we find ourselves not only traversing what we know – our cradled nostalgia, our comfort zones – but venturing, open-hearted and vulnerable along time’s arrow. A dreamlike dive into the engulf of closed-eye darkness, to be tenderly brought to light in a swirl of intimacy; submerging ourselves in the unknown as we seek connection, a loving uncertainty. To reach out, to keep searching, to fall and subsequently rise from the ashes in which we find ourselves; we grow, the most rewarding of all experiences.
Australian-born multi-instrumentalist Carla dal Forno returns with her second full length album ‘Look Up Sharp’ – a hypnotic offering, singing deeply personal as she cradles her authentic self in a carefully woven merge of genres. ‘Look Up Sharp’ is the songwriter and vocalist’s follow up to her evocative 2016 debut album ‘You Know What It’s Like’ – with her recent move to London providing brand new perceptions of atmosphere and identity evident in the artist’s intimate dream-pop, post-punk and ambient influences; a tender exploration in ‘Look Up Sharp.’
The opening track of the album ‘No Trace’ sprouts a self-assured bass-line in greeting; boasting a bold post-punk character amongst the swirl of psychedelic ambience. Dal Forno’s lyricism sings a delicate dream, a gentle fluidity in the sweeping glow of her tender vocal prowess. Fire-fly synths dot the surreal soundscape, the glitter of nostalgia as a pirouette amongst the concise track progression; experimenting in a textural dance.
‘Don’t Follow Me’ illustrates a bewitching darkness, opening with a striking startle; distant yet distinct, as dal Forno’s vocals sing a cold angelic, swaying like a choir in the harmonic emptiness – lightness in a gothic cathedral. Flowing tenderly like hymn, a ghostly ambience swims in the underlay; making room for the melancholy of shadowy synths and phantom timbres, dancing with each other in introspection – dal Forno’s soulful vocals a vulnerable flicker in the engulf of the dark.
As the closing track of the album ‘Push On’ gleams with a kind sadness; sadness that radiates tender hope, a gentle inward reflection with dal Forno’s vocals guiding the track like the warm touch of a hand held; shivering synths and an empathetic bassline complementing the songstress’ vulnerability as she navigates the known, the unknown; a body of lightness and simultaneous submerge into the dreamlike dark as the album comes to a close.
‘Look Up Sharp’ blossoms with Carla dal Forno’s authenticity; a loving exploration of the self in all its forms; in loneliness and connection, in the familiar and unfamiliar. Dal Forno’s unique aural expression allows for a textural, introspective journey as she navigates her inner world, spilling into the outer – a gleaming intimacy that encompasses not only the personal, but the external; a traverse we can relate to, and are able to lose ourselves in.
Review by Jenna Dreisenstock