Giulia Millanta

Moonbeam Parade (Ugly Cat Music)

Texas Platters

As Austin grows, the musicians it attracts come from farther away. Giulia Millanta hails from Florence, Italy, and as evidenced by her fifth effort, Moonbeam Parade, she's made herself a welcome local addition. Unlike most singer-songwriter or folk artists currently calling Texas home, Millanta's music plays out edgy yet swells with heart. Assistance from a slew of locals, including Michael Fracasso, Charlie Sexton, Gabe & Kimmie Rhodes, George Reiff, and Dony Wynn, she spins a web of intrigue through the use of crafty melodies and rock trappings that never veer into cliche. One misstep: a cover of Bowie's "Rock & Roll Suicide" with Millanta singing in Italian and Howe Gelb of Giant Sand croaking the chorus. The off-kilter "Shaky Legs," a marvelous duet with Fracasso, "If You Ask Me," and the dynamic poetry of "Pieces" lend Moonbeam Parade a rare sense of boldness.

***.5

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