Americana singer-songwriter Giulia Millanta arrived in Austin, Texas, from quite an unlikely place: she moved there in 2012 from her native Florence, Italy. Since that move, she has become enmeshed in Austin’s famed musical community and beyond. On July 22nd, she premieres “Sugar Home” with American Songwriter; it is the first single off her seventh album, Tomorrow is a Bird, which is set for release on October 16th.
“Sugar Home” is an honest and vulnerable song about making mistakes and finding peace and redemption into forgiving ourselves and taking a leap of faith,” Millanta says of the poignant ballad. “Love, the ineffable and inexplicable feeling that ties people together, can sometimes be one of the most turbulent seas to navigate. I know my crown is crooked and your dreams may be broken, but we can be kids again and walk hand in hand into the unknown. We can trust that life will support our flight and once we are up there all our mistakes, doubts and all our failed attempts to sabotage ourselves won’t matter anymore.”
Millanta, who put out her debut album, Giulia and the Dizzyness, in 2008, says she has no reservations about continuing to release material now, even as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates. “As a full-time musician, I had to learn how to deal with the fear of the unknown and a certain level of uncertainty, and I’m used to being alone, so this pandemic has not affected my day to day life that much,” she says.
“But,” Millanta continues, “there’s a deeper level of fear and lonely in everyone I talk to and I want to be able to talk to my fans and keep them company in a difficult moment. “Sugar Home” is the perfect pandemic song because it’s about trusting that everything will be okay and we just need to stay close (emotionally!) to one another, so I believe this pandemic is the perfect time to release this song and the record to come.”
Millanta’s father began teaching her to play guitar when she was eight years old, and she has gone on to be called a “female Tom Waits,” and has also been compared to Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux. But her wistful, emotive music is distinctively her own, as “Sugar Home” proves. Being a professional musician is, she says, truly her calling in life: “If I didn’t have music and a project to give birth to I would have been lost. Music saves my life over and over. Music is my companion and the outlet for my feelings.”