Stella Donnelly made a splash with her 2018 debut EP, Thrush Metal. Now, the Western Australia native is gearing up to drop her first full-length album via esteemed indie label Secretly Canadian. Titled Beware of the Dogs, the effort was recorded last June with assistance from producer Dean Tuza. In the studio, Donnelly assembled a backing band comprised of her best friends: Jennifer Aslett (bass), Talya Valenti (drums), and George Foster (guitar).
The forthcoming LP extends the sounds first explored on Thrush Metal, but sees Donnelly taking a more brazen stand: She is not one to be messed with. Through the album’s 13 tracks, the self-proclaimed “shit-stirrer” fearlessly calls out the racists, creeps, and oppressors that litter her life. And in the process, Donnelly reclaims her own sense of power and freedom.
“This album made me feel like I was back in the driver’s seat,” the 26-year-old remarked in a press statement. “It was really liberating and grounding to realize that no one can fuck with this except me.”
Our first taste of Beware of the Dogs comes with opening track “Old Man”. Although infused with warm melodies, it’s a song whose message packs a sharp bite aimed at gross, exploitative men. “Boy, if you touch her again, I’ll tell your wife and your kids about that time,” Donnelly sings. According to the rising songwriter, the track came to her while reflecting on Woody Allen and his troublesome comments regarding the #MeToo movement:
“I came up with the chords and chorus to this song in 2017 around the time when Woody Allen called the #MeToo movement a witch hunt. It was a very strange feeling for me watching the world change right before my eyes and to see that these men who had exploited their power for so long were actually being held accountable for their actions. It made me look back on my experiences as a young woman doing music and certain powerful men who tried to manipulate me and exploit other young women. I needed to write this song for myself because if I hadn’t I would still feel quite angry about things that I probably let slide in my younger, more naive days. I have no intentions of publicly calling out these people but it’s a nice feeling to me knowing that they may hear this song one day and feel perhaps an inch of the humiliation and powerlessness that they inflicted on me back then.”
Via Consequence of Sound