Much like her friends and countrymen in Standish/Carlyon, Total Control, and HTRK, Carla dal Forno casts her shadows on the gloomier side of Australia’s music scene—one that stands in stark contrast to the pop and psych realms of sun-bleached stars like Empire of the Sun and Tame Impala. The F ingers/Tarcar member is a master of melancholy—her solo work is all twisted wires, mangled samples, rust belt rhythms, and beats that go bump in the night.
Since her solo debut, last spring’s Fast Moving Cars 7”, dal Forno has toyed with pop structures, pulling back on purpose whenever she gets too close. You Know What It’s Like is the culmination of all those experiments, alternating between atmospheric instrumentals (the ambient noise of “Italian Cinema,” the forest-dwelling folk of “Dry in the Rain,” the serial killer score of “DB Rip”) and vapor-trailed vocalizations (“Fast Moving Cars,” “The Same Reply,” “What You Gonna Do Now?”).
Nico comparisons are inevitable, but dal Forno’s closest sonic relative is actually her labelmate Camella Lobo (Tropic of Cancer). Listen to their Blackest Ever Black LPs back-to-back and put the nearest fog machine on blast: Halloween may be past, but there’s plenty of darkness ahead.