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Awkwardly Blissing Out
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  • Melbourne, Australia's F ingers followed up their wonderfully murky debut, Hide Before Dinner, with the brilliantly titled Awkwardly Blissing Out, a slightly more playful and experimental second effort. While singer Carla dal Forno saved her most direct songwriting for her excellent solo debut, You Know What It's Like, her work as part of F ingers is much stranger and more cryptic. Her vocals rarely run in a straight line -- they're constantly chopped, stuttered, and multi-tracked, among other audio illusions. Likewise, this album is filled with ghastly dub effects, laser blasts, and a general unsettling feeling. This one seems more electronic than Hide Before Dinner, with synths squirming around and primitive drum machines rumbling underneath. It's strange and disconcerting, but it's also oddly relaxing, and even kind of fun. The nine-minute title track best summarizes the album, with a flickering pulse and shaky bassline interrupted by electroshock bursts, along with dal Forno's soft vocals barely registering. Halfway through, she steps a bit closer into the light, as provided by a shimmering keyboard drone. "All Rolled Up" is the most rhythmic cut, with a puttering beat and a reverberating bassline, along with dal Forno's gently floating vocals, which seem to be singing about insomnia. The rhythm on "You're Confused" is nothing more than electronic claps and a very unsteady bassline, and sporadic vocals and keyboard notes seem to be scattered like a shaken snow globe. Nervous as well as dreamy, the album couldn't have been more perfectly named. ~ Paul Simpson
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