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'Conversation With A Ghost'   

-  Label: 'Ugly Cat Music'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '22nd June 2018'-  Catalogue No: 'UCM05'

Our Rating:
Not only does Giulia Millanta play guitar and ukulele but she is also able to sing in four languages. She originates from Florence in Italy and moved to Austin, Texas in 2012. She has released six solo albums to date and ,based on the company she keeps, it appears that she has been embraced by the local musical community.

The album features guitarist Marc Ribot, singer Kimmie Rhodes and other musicians who have played with artists such as Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, and Patty Griffin.

The record was produced by Millanta and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Rhodes with the basic tracks recorded live as a trio with bassist Glenn Fukunaga and drummer Dony Wynn. We wanted it to be really raw and really sparse", says the singer.

The songs come from personal experience but, perhaps because of the spectral theme, the strong emotions are not clearly defined. Millanta is sultry without being overtly sexy and introspective without being consumed by melancholy.

Her non-American background is only really evident in La Stanza and Violence, both of which mix lyrics sung in English and Italian.

The title track finds her "drinking from a broken cup, praying to a empty crowd" as she reflects on the devil's capacity for finding work for idle hands. The theme of loss is evident in the single Blinded By The Sun and in other tunes.

Musically, the twangy touches locate it firmly in Americana but there are nods towards tango, blues and jazz to give the record a European flavor.

The album closes like a chapter of her life with Space although the affirmative reflection that "There's freedom ahead of me" is delivered more with a sense of trepidation than hope.

Giulia Millanta's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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MILLANTA, GIULIA - Conversation With A Ghost