Aussie singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly evokes the world-crushing power of metal | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Aussie singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly evokes the world-crushing power of metal

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Before Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly released her debut EP on cassette last year, she played in an aggressive, all-woman band that pulled from punk and thrash metal. That musical background inspired the name of her EP, Thrush Metal, which Secretly Canadian will reissue on vinyl with a bonus track in June, and the ferocity that smolders beneath its songs’ stripped-down arrangements. Donnelly’s own fierceness is evident in the prescription-strength steeliness of opener “Mechanical Bull,” and it quietly courses through the unvarnished single “Boys Will Be Boys,” on which she denounces those who’ve allowed for a system that punishes victims of sexual abuse to persist. When she raises her voice to a near howl singing “They said, ‘Boys will be boys,’” the anger bubbling beneath her performance delivers extra lashes to those who would charge a rape victim with complicity in her attack for “wearing her shirt so low.”   v

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