Posted: July 4, 2022 in MUSIC

Stella Donnelly the Australian singer/songwriter is releasing a new album, “Flood“, on August 26th via Secretly Canadian. She has shared its second single, title track “Flood,” via a video for the song. Donnelly co-directed the video with Nick Mckk and Grace Goodwin. In it Donnelly and her bandmates rescue an exercise machine from the trash.

Donnelly had this to say about “Flood” in a press release: “This song feels like a sad little adventure. I wrote it in the dark depths of a Melbourne winter lockdown where it had been raining for consecutive weeks. Everyone around me was falling into their own version of depression at different times. It felt like a flood of trauma yet at the same time, we were given an opportunity of time to work through stuff that we’d been distracting ourselves with for so long prior to the pandemic.”

Of the video, she says: “This clip is pure ridiculous play, like going to your grandparents house where you and your cousins would get up to the most elaborate film projects. We always ran around the house making home movies that tried to re-enact other films and much like this clip here, they always ended in some sort of minor catastrophe. With this video for ‘Flood’ we have made a very feeble attempt at recreating the legendary OK GO video clip for ‘Here it Goes Again’ and we failed gloriously.”

Previously Donnelly had shared “Flood’s” first single, “Lungs,” via a video. “Flood” is Donnelly’s second album, the follow-up to 2019’s debut full-length album, “Beware of the Dogs”. Donnelly co-wrote songs with her bandmates Jennifer Aslett, George Foster, Jack Gaby, and Marcel Tussie, and the previous press release says the process “at times felt like experimental kindergarten play.” Donnelly co-produced “Flood” alongside Anna Laverty and Methyl Ethyl’s Jake Webb.

The album was partially written during her time in the rainforests of Australia’s Bellingen, where she took up birdwatching. During her time writing new songs she also lived in Fremantle, Williams, Guilderton, Margaret River, and Melbourne and in total she wrote 43 new songs.

Stella Donnelly‘s ‘How Was Your Day?‘ was the lead single from her beautiful album “Flood”, a skilful, tuneful song laden with pathos, juxtaposing skippy percussion, glistening guitars and a bright melody with Stella’s deadpan poetic delivery vocals in the verses, that nod back to her superb 2019 debut album, “Beware of the Dogs”.

“Level-headedness has made way for a disastrous love”, she drops casually. “I know it, you know it.” 

Of the track, Donnelly says: “This is my attempt at building a song out of a very specific dynamic between two monogamously involved people. The verses are just excerpts from real conversations, fragments of what two people talk about when they both know they need to have a real talk but neither wants to be the one to bring it up. This song came out of lockdown and seeing a lot of friends break up or get married.” 

“I had so many opportunities to write things in strange places,” Donnelly said. “I often had no choice about where I was. There’s no denying that not being able to access your family with border closures, it zooms in on those parts of your life you care about.”

Stripping away the artifice of being a musician, taking time to breathe and reassess. On her superlative second album “Flood”, Stella Donnelly displays a voice of rare clarity that can crystallise her emotions investing her deft songs with previously uncharted depths: exploring her inner child, her place in the world and the boundaries of her and others’ relationships, capturing moments of brevity in songs that reveal themselves over multiples plays. In the process, with Welsh heritage and based in Perth, Australia, Donnelly offers a gentle arm on the shoulder, a guiding light out of the dark, in a time of uncertainty and fear.

As well as being sophisticated and layered, “Flood” is also a vulnerable and empathetic record. More subdued but no less powerful, there are fewer instant hooks than her debut, but it’s actually better for it. The arrangements have a subtle openness that stretches out like a warm embrace; this is a tapestry, produced by a new perspective of experimentation and thoughtfulness forged with her band. “Flood” is overflowing with both. It’s simply a gorgeous record, drink in every moment, it’s positively a revelation. Astounding.

‘Flood’, out August 26th on Secretly Canadian.

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