Australian singer Stella Donnelly kicks off the new year with her wry and cutting songs


There is a very good chance that out of the wonderful music from 2019, you missed out on Beware of the Dogs, the full-length debut album by Australian indie pop singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly. She caused a bit of a buzz back in 2017 with her mournful ballad “Boys Will Be Boys” that addressed misogyny and sexual assault, striking a nerve in the context of the #MeToo movement. Right from the very first verse, the song just grabs you: “My friend told me of a secret/Told me that she blames herself/You invaded her magnificence/Put your hand over her mouth.” That type of direct and frank songwriting permeates throughout Beware of the Dogs, whether Donnelly’s topics concern predatory men (“Old Man”), the trials and tribulations surrounding relationships (“Allergies,” “Mosquito,” “Die”) or moments of introspection (“Lunch,” “Face It”). As angst-ridden and bittersweet as her frank and wry lyrics are, they are all wrapped in this delicate and catchy pop package with Donnelly’s charming and lovely voice. The singer-songwriter will embark on a very brief tour of the States that includes a date at Music Hall of Williamsburg on January 18. Seeing her live will make you realize what you missed in last year of the old decade, but also what you can look forward to from her in the new one.

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