It’s been a long time coming but Melbourne’s Gretta Ziller has finally released her debut solo album, the followup to her Hell’s Half Acre EP from 2014. The good news is that it exceeds the expectations she set up with that fine EP, digging deeper and taking her songwriting and singing to some impressive and accomplished places.
Ziller came up through the country music scene, gaining traction in both the commercial and alt-country worlds before well and truly finding her own place in music. Queen Of Boomtown travails gothic country (‘Whiskey Shivers’), classic singer-songwriter territory, heartache gospel (‘Jude’), classic country rock (‘Go On’) and even indie rock (‘Let It Go’), all with a rich seam of the blues, in differing degrees, running through the music. She dials into a certain 70s sound built on shimmering guitars, warm production and a melodicism that embraces hooks as readily as it conjures atmospheric mood and drama.
Henry Wagons makes an appearance on ‘Round and Round’ for a slow burning duet but Ziller’s voice across the ten songs is the real deal breaker. She possesses a emotive tone that can soar like a country diva, holler like a blues singer and serenade with the sweetness of a soul temptress, making Queen Of Boomtown a world class Americana debut.