In partnership with Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, the Black Box is delighted to present Carla dal Forno
Carla dal Forno is an Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, currently based between London and Berlin. Her acclaimed debut album You Know What It’s Like (2016) and follow up EP The Garden (2017) – both released on Blackest Ever Black – have established her as a singular new talent who navigates the inbetween zones of post-punk, industrial, narcotic dub and dream pop. Formerly of Melbourne’s Mole House, dal Forno is also a member of the BEB affiliated trio F Ingers with Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek.
As a solo artist Dal Forno crafts artfully atmospheric and emotionally ambiguous songs, displaying an observer’s eye for detail and a painterly sense of proportion. Her productions channel a mittel-Europa aesthetic, featuring greyscale synth textures, pulsing drum machines, stripped back guitar lines and disorientating bass undertow, with her glacially detached voice soaring high above. It is the perfect embodiment of dal Forno’s emotionally ambiguous songs: their lyrics rooted in the everyday, observing and exposing a series of uncomfortable truths. This voice asks difficult questions of singer, subject, and sung-to. Live she performs as a shadowy and transfixing duo with multi-instrumentalist Mark Smith.
‘Smoky and ominous, Australian singer/songwriter Carla dal Forno’s You Know What It’s Like simmers, both musically and thematically, while she inhabits the gloom of her arrangements like a ghost’ — Pitchfork
You Know What It’s Like, is album for inbetween days, that occupies inbetween states: plain-speaking pop, disorientated by dub. Psychedelic folk delivered with (post-)punk economy. Drifting in space while still tethered to the ground. Astral tones blurred with earth sounds: wood, bone, breath, skin, dirt. Ending and beginning, dying and becoming. Longing for adventure and an unquiet life. Struggling to get out of bed.
The Garden contains obliquely confessional dispatches from the edge zones of feeling. It marks both a refinement and an evolutionary leap from her 2016 debut. The EP’s title track – and its clear climax – pays tribute to Einsturzende Neubauten’s song of the same name, but shifts the action to nighttime, and brings an acutely female perspective to bear on it: here the garden is a place of beauty and refuge, sure, but also one of hidden menace and threat…things that lurk. The Garden is a compact masterpiece from a remarkable artist who – frighteningly, excitingly – has only just begun to hit her stride.
Recommended for fans of Anna Domino, Coil, Raincoats, Kendra Smith, Antena, Flaming Tunes, Another Green World
Check out Carla dal Forno’s regular monthly show on NTS