Stella Donnelly performs at Iceland Airwaves

Stella Donnelly at Iceland Airwaves
Mark Wheat and Stella Donnelly at Iceland Airwaves (Jay Gabler | MPR)
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Stella Donnelly performs at Iceland Airwaves (full session + interview)
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  • Stella Donnelly performs at Iceland Airwaves (full session + interview) 12:07
  • Stella Donnelly - You Owe Me (Live at Iceland Airwaves) 02:33
  • Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs (Live at Iceland Airwaves) 03:47

The Current's listeners may remember Stella Donnelly from her set earlier this year, recorded at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. "That was a great experience," Donnelly recalls. "It was such a cool little venue — I felt like we were in a log cabin."

Donnelly performed 12 showcases in only four or five days while she was at SXSW, riding the wave of her debut EP, Thrush Metal. Now, the Perth, Australia, based singer-songwriter joins The Current's Mark Wheat at Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik to share a couple songs from her forthcoming album, expected in March 2019.

"I play a tune and make something fit, but it's really important to me that I find simple ways to get my point across and find ways, even suburban ways, to get my point across, I guess," Donnelly says of her songwriting process. "And I think it's really important for me to understand what I'm singing about too. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so it means a lot to me that I know what I'm saying!"

Not that Donnelly is afraid to take on difficult subject matter. Her song, "Boys Will Be Boys," and its accompanying video, stand as powerful examples of that. "It was done in such a simple way, but I really wanted to highlight the aftermath of what it is like when you speak out about something like sexual assault, which is really serious, and the mundane aspects of life just continue," Donnelly explains. "And often we don't look at that for the victims. We look at how the consequences are for the perpetrators, and we don't look at how it carries on in the victims' lives for a long time. So I guess I just wanted to find a simple way to capture that."

Continuing in a similar vein, Donnelly's new song, "Beware of the Dogs," examines racism in Australia. "I think a lot of people have an interesting view of Australia as being this kind of really lovely, relaxed place, but we have a pretty dark history," Donnelly says, "and I want to acknowledge my privilege as a white Australian. I'm really lucky to have this platform to speak up about things; not everyone has that luxury."

Listen to the interview and the songs using the audio player above.

Songs Performed


"You Owe Me"
"Beware of the Dogs"
Both songs from Stella Donnelly's forthcoming album, expected in March 2019 on Secretly Canadian.

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Erik Stromstad
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

Stella Donnelly - Bandcamp

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1 Photos

  • Stella Donnelly PledgeHouse SXSW
    Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly performs at PledgeHouse on March 16. (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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