Carla dal Forno Look Up Sharp Kallista Records
Three years after her debut, You Know What It’s Like, Carla dal Forno returns with her latest full length, Look Up Sharp, on her own Kallista imprint. Now based in London, dal Forno’s new material is born from the ambient chaos of existing in a relentless city.
“I crave drama/ To withstand relentless boredom,” she asserts on I’m Conscious. Her voice is breathy and tantalising, standing in stark contrast to the heavy, droning textures and sluggish beat that mimics a jaded trudge along the pavement.
The producer’s otherworldly sonic spectrum is indebted to dream pop, ambient, and plaintive folk. Look Up Sharp sees her delicate vocal floating over shimmering psychedelic synths and bass guitar riffs that propel the track forward like a steady heartbeat. But it’s on the record’s three instrumental cuts that dal Forno’s ear for an immersive soundscape is most obvious. The xylophone and watery percussion in Leaving for Japan is bright and cinematic, while the swell of the cello builds tension in Heart of Hearts, and Hype Sleep, with its undulating layers, is a soporific embrace.
Look Up Sharp feels like a clear move away from the spectral fog of her debut. Here, Carla dal Forno delivers a more accessible palette, and a sharp, sardonic view of the monotony of the city.