The track is a masterclass in how to release a single in the spring season: drums frolic across the introduction as Donnelly’s voice soars across octaves — much like the crimson bird she’s dressed up as in the video. “Stretching out the leather on your wallet,” she sings, twinkling in crisp indie pop. “That my lungs are filling up.”
Birds take on a bigger role in Flood, a record directly inspired by Donnelly’s time birdwatching in the rainforests of Australia’s Bellingen — as well as the cities she travelled to around the country. She wrote 43 songs during this time, explaining that being in nature made her able to “lose that feeling of anyoneʼs reaction to me. I forgot who I was as a musician, which was a humbling experience of just being; being my small self.”
On Beware of the Dogs, Donnelly grappled with issues ranging from the Australian government’s institutional racism to toxic masculinity. The album’s witty, devastatingly great songs made her a Rolling Stone Artist You Need to Know. It’s unclear where she’s headed on Flood, but if “Lungs” is any indication, we’ll only have more gems to look forward to.
Flood arrives on Aug. 26 via Secretly Canadian. Donnelly will hit the U.S. for a string of dates starting Sept. 11, wrapping up in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1 before heading to the U.K.
Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.
2. How Was Your Day?
3. Restricted Account
6. Move Me
8. This Week
9. Oh My My My
10. Morning Silence
Stella Donnelly North American Tour Dates
Sept. 11 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Sept. 12 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda
Sept. 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Independent
Sept. 15 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Sept. 16 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret Sat.
Sept. 17 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Sept. 21 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
Sept. 22 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Sept. 23 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
Sept. 24 – Toronto, ON @ Longboat Hall
Sept. 26 – Boston, MA @ Crystal Ballroom
Sept. 28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
Sept. 30 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
Oct. 1 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd