It’s hard to believe Stella Donnelly’s Beware of the Dogs is her debut album. Yes, it sounds fresh and instantly ear-catching, yet there’s a take-no-prisoners assuredness to her songwriting that’s truly impressive. Donnelly is thoroughly charming, her melodies joyful and thrilling — it’s an intense contrast to some of her lyrical themes. She sings about rape culture, creepy old men, racism, and unrequited love, but the album never feels heavy. It just feels startlingly unique in its vision and execution. Don’t be surprised if Stella Donnelly’s star rises swiftly off the strength of this release.