NME/Time Out journalist Rhian Daly on Stella Donnelly’s Thrush Metal
Stella Donnelly first came up on my radar because of Boys Will Be Boys - her incredibly powerful song about sexual assault.
On it, she conveys the anger she felt after hearing about what happened to a friend through subtle shifts in vocal tone and plain-spoken words alone. “Would you blame your little sister/If she cried to you for help?” she asks.
Donnelly’s recently re-released debut EP Thrush Metal continues that tack, cementing her universal appeal through the personal stories she puts under the microscope. Mechanical Bull deals with being harassed while working in a bar - “Stay on my back for too long and I’ll spin ya,” she warns.
So far, it feels like the Australian has been painted as an incredibly serious songwriter, but seeing her at SXSW last month showed a different side.
You can hear it on the EP (on A Poem, she tells a lover, “Something must have died for you to be my best yet”) but it’s even more obvious on her newer songs.
You Owe Me addresses an old boss: “You’re jacking off to the CCTV/While I’m pouring plastic pints of flat VB.” On stage, Donnelly is charming, cracking jokes with seemingly no subject off limits (yeast infections, family, Tinder).
The only difficult thing about watching Stella Donnelly is not falling under her spell.
Journalist (NME, Time Out)