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Carla Dal Forno – The Garden

A walk near the unapproachable

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Coming as a follow-up to her debut EP, You Know What It’s Like, Dal Forno’s sophomore effort immediately dispels any notion one may have about the way this EP would go. Discarding the meditative mood that pervedaded her earlier works, The Garden opens hard with a direct, rhythmic track, throwing the listener into a state of urgency not felt anywhere in the earlier work. Even with all of this directed energy, beneath the bassline and newly prominent vocals, an undercurrent of unease still looms. It’s a new lens for the alienation that keeps you just out of reach. Following on, Clusters returns us back to something close to the trance-like state. This time with a brighter side, swirling brightness and melodic vocals bring some comfort to the space. The LP’s penultimate track returns to a mood very close to what’s found on You Know What It’s Like, Carla’s voice becomes lost in the thick atmospherics and lo-fi percussion and the lyrical content is more direct.

The last, titular track is also for me the stand-out above the other three. This piece is an homage to Einstürzende Neubauten’s 1991 song of the same name. But where the direct, almost minimal track by them gives the impression that this metaphorical Garden is a liminal space of contemplation and healing, Dal Forno’s garden is a place to dwell. Coming at the end of this masterful EP, we’re left with a sense of defiant comfort in a place of unrest.

Catch Carla Dal Forno performing a solo set, with Erika Nesse and Sundog opening.
The show’s Saturday June 9th at First Parish in Harvard Square, Cambridge.

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