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Stella Donnelly On World Cafe

Stella Donnelly may win the World Cafe award for least high maintenance and largest musical impact. She came in with her guitar, a big warm smile and a totally unassuming personality, and asked if we had a room she could use for a quick vocal warm-up. OK, sure. Ten minutes later, she emerged, plugged in her guitar and delivered a flawless one-take performance with the kind of vocal control they could write singing textbooks about, and the kind of clever and poignant words that make you want to read the lyric sheet after.

In her songs and in-person, Donnelly is charming, generous and funny. She's also unafraid to speak up about serious topics – you'll hear her perform a powerful song written before the #MeToo movement about the harmful impact of the term "boys will be boys," and a new song, "Beware Of The Dogs," about the injustices faced by First Nations people in Australia, where she's based. Donnelly grew up between Australia (where her dad is from) and Wales, her mom's birthplace.

Donnelly's debut EP, Thrush Metal,came out last year in Australia and was reissued in the U.S. this year. She started us off with a live rendition of her song "Mean to Me." Hear it all in the audio player above.

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