Photo by Pooneh Ghana
I hope when you’re being spellbound by the sweet, jangly indie pop that Australian Stella Donnelly delivers on her debut album, Beware of the Dogs, you’re also paying attention to the lyrics.
As Donnelly explains in the YouTube description for “Boys Will Be Boys”, “Boys Will Be Boys is my attempt at making sense of society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and make excuses for the perpetrators. It was also my way of dealing with certain events that were occurring in my life at the time. The video itself was intended to express the burden of victim blaming and sexual assault on the victims themselves as the mundane aspects of life go on. A song is just a song but at the very least I hope it will open up difficult yet important conversations between family members, friends, government bodies, organisations and most importantly, boys and men.”
(Please, Columbus, when Donnelly plays “Boys Will Be Boys” at Ace of Cups on Wednesday night, avoid side conversations and the urge to talk over the person you paid to see.)
The 26-year-old songwriter doesn’t hide behind metaphors, she’s an open book when it comes to taking on sexual assault (“Old Man”), being homesick (“Lunch”), leaving a job because of a terrible boss (“U Owe Me”) and the music industry (“Tricks”) but her songs are more about sticking up for yourself in these situations than letting them win.
Like fellow Australians Courtney Barnett and Julia Jacklin, Donnelly is an artist that seems poised for big things in the U.S. and a chance to see her now is one you shouldn’t pass up.
Stella Donnelly and Faye Webster play Ace of Cups on Wednesday, March 27. Pre-sale tickets, available at Used Kids, Ace of Cups, and online are running low so it’s advisable you pick one up soon. Doors open at 7.