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You Know What It's Like
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  • A year after Australian trio F ingers released Hide Before Dinner, an excellent album of haunting darkwave folk, the group's co-founder Carla dal Forno (who had relocated to Berlin) released her solo debut, You Know What It's Like. The album is every bit as enchanting as its predecessor, but there's a sharper focus on dal Forno's songwriting skills this time around. Her vocals aren't always quite as shrouded in effects, and the recordings don't sound as lo-fi or distorted. "Fast Moving Cars" (previously issued as a 7" earlier in the year) features a dubby rhythm, gloomy vocals, a very sparse amount of keyboard, and a slowly swirling layer of echo that ends up being one of the most significant elements of the song. It's stark, confessional, and one of the most beguiling singles of the year. "What You Gonna Do Now?" charts a similar path, with nervously pattering beats, inquisitive lyrics, and mournful cello, with a thin sheet of distortion periodically enveloping the proceedings. The title track is a slow, unsettling march with descending keyboard notes, distant percussion, and eerie chiming tones. A few other tracks appear to be instrumental, but it's hard to tell whether some sounds are vocals or electronics. Regardless, the songs seem to be inhabited by a variety of spirits. The album manages to sound detached yet intimate as dal Forno's fragile voice and glowing melodies reach toward something intangible. ~ Paul Simpson
Professional Reviews
Pitchfork (Website) - "Carla dal Forno is willing to provoke listeners on a number of levels without spoon-feeding them. With You Know What It's Like, she manages to do so on her own terms..."
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