Grace Stevenson makes furious, brawny and energising techno as Rebel Yell

Grace Stevenson makes furious, brawny and energising techno as Rebel Yell

Image: Rose Pure

Rebel Yell’s Grace Stevenson joins us for episode #10 of the Turning Heads podcast.

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 via Rice is Nice.

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 in mid-2018 and included guest appearances by Gussy and Pillow Pro.

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. The album includes guest appearances from Marcus Whale of BV and Collarbones, Melbourne’s NV and Sydney’s R-T-Fax. American artist Hayden Dunham (aka QT) narrates the album’s opening track ‘Incredible Heat’, which pushes a lot of ASMR buttons.

For the podcast, Grace and I 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.

Check out the podcast episode below:

I will be back with a new episode of Turning Heads next week. You can find the podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories five times a week.