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Stella Donnelly - Flood (Album Review)

Thursday, 01 September 2022 Written by Matty Pywell

Stella Donnelly took time out to travel in the lead up to her new album ‘Flood’. The Australian indie artist had developed a significant following with her blunt lyrical style, which saw her take on societal issues and find humour in rallying against those who would patronise her on her debut LP ‘Beware of the Dogs’.

In her time away, exploring the rainforest region of Bellingen, she took to activities such as birdwatching and there’s a feeling throughout ‘Flood’ that those natural elements she experienced have brought a calmness into her sound.

Donnelly inspects the past in a reflective way. It often feels as though we’re witnessing meditation on events that have already passed, whether that be the effort it took to leave someone behind (Underwater) or by embracing the perspective of a child in order to portray the struggle of a family just trying to get by (Lungs).

There’s a delicate side to ‘Flood’, you won’t find any blaring hooks or much electric guitar, instead you’ll be greeted by piano keys that feel balanced on a precipice, like a ballerina’s feet, on the title track. Synth weave their way in, but they feel like gentle breezes. 

The lesson here is that there is joy in simplicity, and that only a few ingredients are needed to make an album sound completely immersive. Throughout, we gradually come to the present day and see that Donnelly can still snap into making a point at a moment's notice, such as on Morning Silence. “Is it a pipe dream to want my children never to wake up and hear a woman screaming,” is a particularly devastating lyric.

‘Flood’ may not be as lyrically witty as ‘Beware of the Dogs’ but it is fascinating to join Donnelly upon this journey of deep reflection.

Stella Donnelly Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 01 2022 - LEEDS Wardrobe
Wed November 02 2022 - GLASGOW Mono
Thu November 03 2022 - MANCHESTER Band on the Wall
Fri November 04 2022 - DUBLIN Whelans
Sun November 06 2022 - LIVERPOOL Zanzibar
Tue November 08 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Metronome
Wed November 09 2022 - BRISTOL Thekla
Thu November 10 2022 - LONDON Electric Brixton
Sat November 12 2022 - CARDIFF Gate
Sun November 13 2022 - BIRMINGHAM Hare and Hounds
Mon November 14 2022 - BRIGHTON Komedia

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