Australian artist Carla Dal Forno took a break from music after 2019's Look Up Sharp and didn't touch an instrument or sing in any professional capacity for a year and a half -- coinciding at least partially with the pandemic -- and also left the city for rural Castlemaine in Central Victoria. When she eventually began playing and recording again, small town life had an influence on her music. While she's always favored simple arrangements, Come Around is her most minimal record yet, with most tracks little more than spare vintage drum machines, bass, and voice, while atmospheric synths very lightly fill in the edges of the echoey production. You can listen to the album, and watch her new video for "Slumber," below.

We asked Carla to tell us more about the album and she provided a list of inspirations, including music, books, flowers, art and a pesky marsupial. Read her list and commentary below.

CARLA DAL FORNO - INFLUENCES BEHIND 'COME AROUND'

The Trypes - "(From the) Morning Glories"
This song [by Feelies offshoot The Trypes] represents the impulse when summer is ending and winter hibernation is fast approaching to run off in search of new adventures. The Trypes termed this feeling ‘the explorers hold’. Everytime i hear this song I feel drawn to seek out new places, adventures and people. In my own way I explored this feeling on my track "Stay Awake."

This Possum
This possum lived in the ceiling directly above my studio and we annoyed the shit out of each other whilst I was recording the album. Possums are nocturnal so I’d be keeping him awake during the day, and then in the evening I’d have to stop working when he started a nightly screaming match with his neighbour. Thanks for giving me a deadline each day possum.

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Castlemaine
I live in a small rural town town and after many years in big cities I’m enjoying being surrounded by trees rather than tall buildings. My track "Come Around" is a reflection of this feeling of finding the special spots only the locals know and wanting to share them with someone special

Mole House
I took a break from music after my last album and didn’t touch an instrument for a year and a half. When I nervously started thinking about songwriting again my way back in was to go back to the first songs I’d ever written with my first band Mole House. I relearned the chords and lyrics and ended up rerecording one of my old tracks for this album.

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Thomas Bush
Thomas’ first album absolutely knocked my socks off. It’s exactly the sort of DIY, post punk that I’d spend hours trawling the internet for but could never find. I got to play with Thomas when I was touring in Sweden and he agreed to add vocals to a track I wrote for my album called Slumber, which I was absolutely thrilled about

Claire-Louise Bennett - Pond
One of my all time favourite books. I read this a couple of times whilst making my album. I found it poignant, funny, obscure and direct. I related to the central character who is drawn towards seclusion and inwardness, whilst also having desires and is haunted by memories. I particularly loved Bennet’s way with words and the descriptions of nature and the physical surrounds.

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Monthly NTS Radio show
I feel super lucky to have a slot on NTS radio. Putting together a monthly show takes time and effort but the upside is I’m constantly discovering new music I love and am able to share this with others. I credit having the show with the discovery of some of my favourite contemporary artists whose creativity has had a direct impact on my work.

ALONE
Being a solo musician can feel like a pretty solitary occupation but at the end of a day in the studio I loved curling up on the couch with a bowl of pasta and my partner and watching this show.

Clarice Beckett
I came across the work of the Australian artist Clarice Beckett at the Castlemaine Museum during the time I was making my album. I love the way her paintings capture a particular mood; A kind of hazy, evening fog that reminds me of shivering when it starts to get cold. I wanted to transport this kind of atmosphere into my own work.

Clarice Beckett, Wet Evening, c.1927. Oil on cardboard, Castlemaine Art Museum. Maude Rowe Bequest, 1937. Image: Ian Hill
Clarice Beckett, Wet Evening, c.1927. Oil on cardboard, Castlemaine Art Museum. Maude Rowe Bequest, 1937. Image: Ian Hill
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Flowers
I’ve always loved to garden and though most of my interest and time has been spent growing veggies and herbs, when I moved to the country I felt a real impulse to start growing flowers. At the moment I’m really into Tulips, Ranunculus and Peonies. They make my heart sing when I look at them. I have a line on "Side By Side" that goes ‘give me flowers, I couldn’t wait…’

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