Italian singer songwriter Giulia Millanta has been based in Austin, Texas, for some time now and it seems to agree with her; she has just released her seventh album, Tomorrow is a Bird. A born storyteller, Giulia’s lyrics weave their way through ten Americana / rock infused tracks that tell of broken hearts, redemption, strength and fragility and the beauty that can be found in stillness.
The album opener, ‘Castle in the Clouds‘ is a spirited plunge into Giulia’s brand of song writing (co-written with Gabriel Rhodes). The melody is one to toe tap away to and sets up the other nine tracks. For those with one or two laughter lines, one lyric in particular grabs you: “a brand new line is like a warning you’re going too fast”. Thankfully, the song continues with “never say it’s too late”.
The title track comes next and begins with a gentle intro before launching into a a free range sound, symbolising being “free to fly away”, free as a bird. It manages to sound very intoxicating.
Giulia’s myriad of influences came to the forefront over the next few songs, with jazz and blues sounds being heard in ‘In a Dream‘, ‘Sugar Home and ‘Kiss You Goodbye‘. The danceability of ‘In a Dream’ has beats reminiscent of honky tonk blues, while the slower, ballad tempo of the latter two tracks bring a new dimension to the album as a whole. Giulia lets her vocals soar, making them ballsy and whimsical at the same time. This carries over into ‘Breathe‘, an exploration of taking life slowly – the breathy vocals blend with the instrumentation to become almost as one.
By the time the penultimate track, ‘Violet’, comes on, the album has taken us through a gamut of emotions, landing with a story of strength, albeit a strength that doesn’t want to be strong any more: “I’m walking through endless storms, I don’t wanna be strong any more, we all stand drenched in the rain’. Listen to this album and you’ll have just a little bit of respite from the storm.
Giulia’s advice to aspiring musicians is:
Practice practice practice.
Don’t lie to yourself
Tomorrow is a Bird was released on 16 October on Ugly Cat Music.
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Cover: Barbara FG