Carla Dal Forno drops the eagerly-awaited follow-up to her 2016 debut LP You Know What It’s Like through her own Kallista Records. On Look Up Sharp we find Dal Forno dealing in obfuscation and confusion once again to create an album that hovers in the space between harmony and dissonance, the obtuse and the transparent.
Look Up Sharp draws from a wide variety of artists and genres. Hype Williams, Midori Takada, early trip-hop, Low, early Brian Eno, minimal synth and electronic post-punk are just a few of the sonic touchstones found across the record. While this may seem like a relatively disparate spread of styles, Dal Forno yokes them all together in a sort of dreamstate. Cloaked in reverb and laced with dubwise production techniques, the tracks of Look Up Sharp are designed to lull the listener into an uneasy reverie.
While there are a fair few instrumentals here some of these tracks are loosely tethered to Dal Forno’s voice in order to prevent them from floating away into the ether. Aside from the relatively clear-headed ‘So Much Better’ - a song which wouldn’t sound out of place on The Velvet Underground & Nico, by the way - Dal Forno’s singing largely remains towards the back of the mix. Draping her impassive, woozy singing over cuts like ‘Leaving For Japan’ only serves to heighten Look Up Sharp’s air of uncanniness.
Carla Dal Forno’s Look Up Sharp is a bewitching record, one that you can’t help but be drawn into.