Artists to Watch in 2018: Stella Donnelly

STELLA DONNELLY has had (for lack of a better word) a stellar year. The Perth native has played in a number of bands including BOAT SHOW and Bells Rapids but this year she has gifted the world with an extremely personal project. As a solo artist, Stella Donnelly is as exciting as she is comforting and familiar. Her strongest asset is her voice and she uses it to speak the truths that many women struggle to articulate. She shares stories and frustrations in a uniquely gentle, almost serene fashion. One cannot help but to take a deep breath and listen.

Her debut single, ‘Mechanical Bull’was released towards the start of this year. The track starts as simple request for solitude throughout the 2:41min anger and frustration subtly boil over into an outright plea. It’s a story of casual harassment that would resonate all too well with many listeners, especially those who have worked in pubs.

It is difficult to believe that Donnelly has only one EP under her belt. This EP, Trush Metal certainly packed a mighty punch and is a hard hitting, thought provoking record with a soft pop mask. The second single, ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ details the confession and undeserved guilt of a rape victim. It’s poignant tale that like the artist herself begs the question; what happens next?

There are similarities that can be drawn between Stella Donnelly and Courtney Barnett or even Paul Kelly.  She is a brave story teller, unflinching from baring truths in all their ugly reality, with a soft yet commanding presence. You can’t underestimate her though, as she’s unafraid and powerful because of that. Donnelly’s music is raw, honest and deeply personal, and there is an underlying warmth to her vocals that welcomes us all in. The future looks wide open for Stella Donnelly and we cannot wait for her to tell us all about it.

Image by George Foster

Words by Amie Mulhearn

CHECK OUT MORE ARTISTS TO WATCH 2018 HERE

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PHOTOS: BIGSOUND 2017 PORTRAIT SERIES

FEATURE: GENDER DIVERSITY & MUSIC FESTIVALS

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Too old to be new, too new to be classic…