Last year, when we were treated to several Stella Donnelly sets, I was left greatly impressed; she stunned with little more than her voice and guitar amidst drunken crowds crammed into non-traditional venues. But, while spending a good amount of time with Beware of Dogs these past few weeks, I’ve been really impressed with the arrangements throughout, just as you’ll hear on “Lunch.” There’s Stella up front with lightly strummed guitar, but behind her hangs this solemn piano tune while strings sweep in all the emotions you’d ever want in a song. The drums have this almost splattered sound, like an egg crashing into a wall, but it fits the tune perfect, as do the backing vocals chiming in at various points. For those of us who only got to see her solo sets, you’re going to really fall in love with her work when you hear all that’s gone into the sounds on the new LP, out March 8th.
If there’s one thing last year’s SXSW showed us it was that Stella Donnelly has a bright career in front of her. She could hold a room on her own with her presence, but more important was her biting wit. She’s not afraid to call people out in song, but she doesn’t do it in a fashion one would find laborious. In her first single from her debut, she’s calling out men and their inappropriate behavior; I appreciate how she approaches her views through a certain pop sensibility, stuck in your head all day and forcing you to listen to what she has to say. Beware of the Dogs will be out on March 8th via Secretly Canadian.