Twenty seconds. That’s how long it takes for John Mills’ saxophone to wrap its tentacles around album opener “Blinded By The Sun”.
This is a common theme throughout the record. Giulia Millanta‘s sixth solo recording Conversation With a Ghost is peppered with little musical flourishes, from an array of instruments. As well it might. Millanta brings an impressive roster to her music, including guitarist Marc Ribot (of Tom Waits fame), and Joel Guzman (accordion player for Paul Simon).
Before you read on, Giulia Millanta is giving a FREE download of “Blinded By The Sun”, the signature single from the album, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
It would be easy for a stellar supporting cast to gazump the significance of the leading role. However, throughout all the flourishes, Giulia Millanta‘s voice, part delicate, part crooney, part jazz, always smooth, peaks through. Bittersweet jazzed-up tangos such as “Puppet on a String” are exchanged with more legato lines on slower numbers such as “Queen on Her Lonesome Throne”.
The record as a whole is bound together by melancholy themes of loss. Be that loss of a friend, a lover, or a loss of your own personal perspective. This is especially true in the title track “Conversation With A Ghost”, where Millanta’s vocals descend to a near whisper:
“..words escape me, hold me prisoner in my thoughts, drinking from a broken cup, praying to an empty cross”
Giulia Millanta is a Florentian who made her way to Austin Texas. In the process she recorded five albums. She also has a degree in medicine and, as can be expected for somebody who has trotted the globe, speaks four languages. This multi-lingual attack leads album highlight “Violence”, where English trades places with multiple mother tongues, with Guzman’s accordion a common theme in the backdrop.
Conversation With A Ghost is one to sit back and absorb, whiskey in hand. Each track has something to offer, but the album itself certainly feels like it has been created as a whole, rather than a sum of individual parts.
For fans of: Mary Gauthier, Norah Jones.
Track Highlights: Conversation With a Ghost, Violence.
Giulia’s advice for new musicians just starting out:
Practice practice practice.
Don’t lie to yourself
Conversation With A Ghost features: Giulia Millanta – vocals and electric guitars; Gabriel Rhodes – baritone guitar, electric guitar (1), acoustic guitar, glasses, piano, saw, bajo sexto; Marc Ribot – electric guitar; David Pulkingham – nylon string guitar, bg vocals; Glenn Fukunaga – upright bass;; Dony Wynn -drums, percussion; Joel Guzman – accordion; John Mills – bass clarinet, sax; Tommy Spurlock – steel guitar; Kimmie Rhodes – bg vocals
Conversation With A Ghost is released on June 22nd on Ugly Cat Music. Find Giulia Miiianta on itunes here
Catch Giulia on tour around Texas and beyond. Or if you can’t make it, follow her at:
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