Giulia Millanta

Conversation With a Ghost (Ugly Cat Records)

Texas Platters

Native of Florence, Italy, Giulia Millanta fed into Austin's greater artistry in 2012 with third album Dust and Desire, songs inspired by her move here. On sixth LP Conversation With a Ghost, the guitarist picks folk lamentations, Latin rhythms, and cool jazz with a stellar cast including six-string great Marc Ribot (Tom Waits), accordionist Joel Guzman (Paul Simon), and ATX brassman John Mills (David Byrne). Like 2016's Moonbeam Parade, Millanta's latest weaves melancholic acoustic pieces (the title track), feisty wordplay ("Violence"), and dark, speakeasy jazz ("Coney Island") into a tightly knit emotive whole, mellow and soft of timbre. Off-kilter riffs bounce the playful "Puppet on a String" as brass bursts round out the edges, and poetic dynamics and minimalist instrumentation on "Hour Glass" and "Lonesome Throne" writhe out stories both reflective and gripping. Conversation With a Ghost teeters on Giulia Millanta's astral plane as her most bold work yet. (CD release: One-2-One Bar, Saturday 23)

****

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