Stella Donnelly chats noodles, reading and Porchland

Words by Isaac Selby

Stella Donnelly has been the name on everyone's lips this year since dropping her debut EP Thrush Metal in April. Now crowned Triple J Unearthed artist of the year, the Perth singer-songwriter is making her way to Adelaide for the first time, set to play Porchland festival on December 2nd. Before we become overwhelmed by her soothing pipes, gripping song-writing and important lyrics live, Yewth handed a cutla' questions her way.


Yewth: First up I just wanted to say congratulations on receiving Triple J's award for unearthed artist of the year! How did you feel after hearing this news?

Stella: Thanks so much! I was in London when I found out the news and I just laughed my head off at how crazy my life had become in 6 months. 

Alongside acts like Camp Cope and The Jezabels you’ve publicly addressed the importance of fan safety at gigs, what advice would you offer to punters to ensure that everybody has a safe and positive experience? 

I think there should be a shared responsibility between venues, punters, staff and most importantly artists themselves to keep each other safe. The best way I think punters could do that would be to speak up and seek help when they experience something unsafe, I think the more awareness there is, the safer we’ll all be.

What kind of environments do you find the most creatively stimulating? Do you find it easier to write in isolation? 

Reading really helps me escape my own thought cycle and puts different words in my head. Isolation is great but it also sucks you know!

When you began recording Thrush Metal was it your initial intention to harness such a stripped-back sound?

Yes, definitely. I had tried other ways previously for different songs and it just didn’t sound like me! 

'Boys Will Be Boys' addresses issues of sexism within our culture with a message that has been really important to hear for a lot of people, how have the reactions been so far?

I’ve had such beautiful reactions from people, which is a relief that I’m not the only person wanting to see a shift in the way that we as a society looks at the culture around sexual assault. 

Is this your first time playing in Adelaide? What impressions do you have of here, if any?

Yes! I have been told that Adelaide is very welcoming and warm. 

What’s your noodle game like? Do you have a go-to and what’s your cooking process? 

I’m the worst noodle chef ever, unless packet mi goreng counts! 

Are you a big reader? If so, do you have any particular favourites or recommendations?

I’m a huge reader! I will forever revisit My Life On the Road by Gloria Steinem as a go to for contemporary feminist insight. Right now I’m reading At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance - A New History of the Civil Rights Movement, from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, not exactly easy reading material!