Turning Heads with Augustus Welby

Rebel Yell (Grace Stevenson)

July 13, 2020

Turning heads episode 10 features a conversation with Sydney-based electro punk musician Grace Stevenson who makes music as Rebel Yell. The new Rebel Yell album, Fall From Grace, came out on July 10.

Stevenson launched the project four or five years ago while based in Brisbane. The first couple of Rebel Yell releases were the 2016 EP Mother of Millions and the 2017 single 'High Authority'. The latter was the first taste of the project’s debut album, Hired Muscle, which came out mid-2018 via Sydney's Rice is Nice.

Stevenson's been based in Sydney for the last couple of years, which is where she developed Fall From Grace. It's a striking body of work. You could loosely describe it as industrial techno or electronic body music. It’s furious in tone, but also really energising. There are a lot of distorted, brawny sounds, it's very percussive, very bassy, and generally high BPM. Stevenson's vocals are a disorienting, but compelling presence. She speaks as much as she sings and often sounds coldly detached, but the effect is strangely gripping.

We spoke about the music scene in Sydney, the nastiness of tall poppy syndrome, the development of Fall From Grace and the inclusion of a number of guest performers on the album. We also made some sweeping generalisations about the differences between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Good fun.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

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