Horns and pianos and synths, oh my. Not that all of these instruments were completely devoid on Stella Donnelly's debut (Beware of the Dogs), but bringing a variety of sounds to the forefront makes for a more appealing overall effort on her sophomore release. Donnelly also goes from broader lyrical swipes to more poetically nuanced takedowns. The opening track, Lungs, evidences the full range of Flood's improvements.
Stella Donnelly has never been afraid to call you out. On the Australian singer-songwriter's debut album Beware of the Dogs, she took so many people to task that American rock critic Robert Christgau dubbed it a "musical encyclopedia of assholes". This wasn't an admonishment -- it was a high five. In 2019, the climate was as ripe and ready as ever for Donnelly's fierce takedowns of politicians, out-of-touch family members and creepy bosses.
The follow-up to Beware Of The Dogs showcases a different side to the Australian’s songwriting There’s something very much happening in alt-rock circles in Australia at the moment. Following on from Courtney Barnett‘s success over the last couple of years, there’s been a veritable tidal wave of new Antipodean talent – Julia Jacklin, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Alex The Astronaut and, of course, Stella Donnelly. Donnelly’s first album, Beware Of The Dogs, was a startling debut – marrying some sugary, frantic indie-pop to lyrics that were barbed, on both the personal and political side.