Ada Lea rules, and here’s the proof

Feelings and recovery are messy. Lea’s quietly evocative singer-songwriter rock doesn’t sugarcoat it.

July 26, 2019
Ada Lea rules, and here’s the proof
Who are they?

Name: Ada Lea
Style: Quietly evocative, heart-healing rock
Location: Montreal

Why should I listen?

Because her debut album, What We Say In Private, is a moving, uniquely-executed body of work! A 10-track diaristic mapping of the aftermath of a break-up, the record is a compassionate, yet wholly honest exploration of that weird period of time that's mostly a fast scramble to gather all the floating parts of your self back into your body. Feelings and recovery are messy; Lea doesn't sugarcoat it.

To make the record, she spent 180 days after the separation journaling, tracking her thoughts, emotions, ideas, and resurfaced memories. Those entries show up in bits and pieces on the record. One of my favorite, especially weirder, songs on the album is "just one, please," which opens with an unnerving, distorted audio clip of Lea asking to buy a dove for a pet. In my head the page in the diary is just a Hereditary-style bird head taped to paper. Don't ask me why! It just be like that sometimes.

Other standouts include "wild heart," which contains an exquisite pre-chorus section of layered tremolo guitar that sounds like shattered glass glittering in the sun. There's also "180 days," a song about — yeah — journaling. And waiting. And hoping! With flourishes of optimistic harp(?) that may actually make you feel like time can heal you this go-around (it will).

When I spoke with Lea over the phone earlier this year, she laughed and said 180 days ended up not being enough. That makes sense. But I hope it got her closer to something she was looking for. I'm glad she shared it with us, anyway.

Where should I start?


Ada Lea rules, and here’s the proof