Fix up— No!! Just look! Listen! Our Carla is back with her second album proper. It’s actually only been three years since the last, You Know What It’s Like, but it feels like a lifetime dunnit??? During that time CDF has settled in London, worked in the LC trenches (we shall never resist any opportunity to wheel out this priceless footage from our early days) and released The Garden - a four-track EP which moved bravely and decisely away from the smeared, stoned, nocturnal feel of YKWIL (an aesthetic that a lesser artist would've rinsed forevermore), bringing her voice to the fore and laying the groundwork for this belter new LP.
It's split half and half between immaculately produced, ultra-lucid songs and atmospheric instrumentals - the latter, it must be said, every bit as substantial and emotive as the former. Opener ‘No Trace’ is a straight-out-the-blocks stunner, perfectly sultry and withheld but also disarmingly uptempo, coming over like a less tranq'd-out Chromatics/IDDIB, even reminding me a little bit of Kelley Polar’s wonderful Love Songs of The Hanging Gardens (but less disco, obv!). Fave track has gotta be the rolling, ‘I’m Conscious’, and not just because I’m a sucker for anything or anyone that can pull of trip-hop-inflected pop in 2019: it’s also the most quintessentially CDF tune on here, both the melody and the vocal performance are unmistakeably her, that certain grain and diction that exude dignity and intelligence and the faintest hint of THREAT.
Although I generally loathe the shorthand “cinematic”, it feels apt… I had to remind myself, listening to ‘Heart of Hearts’, with its clipped acoustic guitar chimes, spacey synths and mournful violin, that I was making scrambled eggs and NOT caught up in some life-or-death drama, while ‘Creep Out Of Bed’'s heavy-lidded urban-pastoral reminds me of Deux Filles. I could go on, but really, do you need further inducement? Carla! New album! Essential must-have!
NB: Order from us for the exclusive, 100% unofficial and very limited Low Company edition, featuring a crude (and fully removable) paper cut-out of our Sanjay’s face blu-tac’d onto the original sleeve.