Australian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Carla Dal Forno, currently based in London, drifted onto our radar over the last few years with sparse post-punk records that feel like transmissions from the other side of the ghostly veil. Last October she released an EP called The Garden on the influential London label Blackest Ever Black; it sounds like the soundtrack to the kind of party where nonchalant diners in smoking jackets eat invisible hors d’oeuvres and make small talk at a table floating in an empty void, forever. Dal Forno is a master of doing just enough with not very much. She knows when a track needs nothing more than a smudged guitar line and a brittle drum track to convey a world of atmosphere, and leaves it at that. Next month, she heads out on the road for a string of tour dates. An international journey seems like a great opportunity to confront the big trip we’ll all make one day—as in, away from this boring old mortal coil—so we asked the shadowy singer to make us a list of songs she’d want to play at her funeral.
“Everyday, I Don’t,” Anna Domino
CARLA DAL FORNO: I wonder if I could ever get sick of this song? I think I’ve probably listened to it more than any other track ever. Without really knowing what Anna is singing about I relate the mood of this track to being in my twenties—lots of procrastinating, lots of time alone, kind of repetitive, melancholic, and beautiful.
“No Romance,” The Fates
FORNO: Una Baines sings about about romance in such a pragmatic way, which I think is so romantic. Then it especially hits home when she gets to the chorus and says, “I’d give my all for the real thing.” When I first heard this song I decided that the goal was to have a relationship similar to the one Una describes. Maybe people will talk about that relationship at my funeral.
“The Big Ship,” Brian Eno
FORNO: This track makes me cry every time I listen to it, however, crying is okay at a funeral so I think it’d be good to play it.
“Double Heart,” Robert Rental
FORNO: This song is beautiful, mysterious and full of longing. I first heard it when I moved to Berlin a few years ago. It was the perfect song to soundtrack the early days of getting to know a new city.
“The Dance,” Naked Spots Dance
FORNO: …just because of the lift at the chorus. Also because the band is from New Zealand (not quite Australia) but it reminds me of going for walks outside at night in the Australian bush.
“The Garden,” Carla dal Forno
FORNO: I think it’d be okay to play one of my songs. Perhaps it would remind people that a long time ago I used to make music.
CARLA DAL FORNO’S MOST RECENT EP THE GARDEN IS OUT NOW ON BLACKEST EVER BLACK. SHE’s PLAYING FOUR NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES THIS MONTH: 2/23 NOISE POP FESTIVAL – OAKLAND, CA; 2/24 ZEBULON – LOS ANGELES, CA; 2/26 GOOD ROOM – BROOKLYN, NY; 5/17 MOOG FEST – DURHAM, NC.