Pub culture, politics on first album

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Stella Donnelly will Visit Margaret River on her Beware of the Dogs national tour
Camera IconStella Donnelly will Visit Margaret River on her Beware of the Dogs national tour Credit: Supplied

Stella Donnelly’s music may be political but she’s not about to run for Prime Minister.

The Perth singer-songwriter is touring Australia promoting her poetic storytelling debut album Beware of the Dogs visiting Margaret River on September 28.

Beware of the Dogs is a politically charged yet therapeutic offering which offers a critique of Australian politics while playfully poking fun at pub culture.

“I don’t think I can fix all of Australia’s political problems, but I guess unintentionally my music is political,” she said.

“I never really meant to be political, I guess I was just writing about what I was seeing and feeling.

“I feel very lucky and privileged but I want to use the platform I have with music to question how we treat people, especially First Nation’s people and those who come to this country seeking asylum.”

Donnelly shot to stardom in 2017 winning triple j’s Unearthed Artist of the Year for her debut single, Mechanical Bull.

The 27-year-old said she was honoured to have won the award, which promoted her sweet vocals and hard hitting subject matter to a national audience via “freeing and natural” exposure.

Possibly Donnelly’s most popular song, Boys Will Be Boys, critiques the stereotypical excuse for men who overstep friendship or flirtation.

“I was questioning my attitudes of other women and the idea of self-blame where we feel that we are responsible for our own safety, but I feel like everyone should be responsible for their actions,” she said.

“I wanted to pose the question to the Australian public about why we say things like ‘boys will be boys’ – I think it’s really damaging to bundle all men together.”

The title track for the album was written in frustration of what Donnelly sees as Australia’s oligarchy.

“I was trying to capture the mood of the Australian identity – I was really angry at the time – so much was going on with powerful, religious white men that were having major effects on diverse Australians,” she said.

“Decisions are made by a really small percentage of our population and it effects everyone in very dramatic ways.”

Donnelly recently returned from an extensive world tour including Sziget Music Festival in Budapest, End of the Road Festival in England and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, but remains as down-to-earth as ever.

“Playing festivals internationally is great because I get a chance to be a fan and an artist.

Stella Donnelly will pay at The River with her band on September 28.

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