Ada Lea - one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden Music Album Reviews

Ada Lea - one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden Music Album Reviews
On her second album, the Montreal songwriter pens straightforward tales of escape but fares best when she’s retreating into fantasy.

When the going gets rough, Alexandra Levy flees—by bus, by car, or by daydream. On her debut album as Ada Lea, 2019’s enticingly messy what we say in private, the Montreal musician reported on breakup grief with one foot out the door. But her second album, one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden, is narrated on the go. “I’m flying out of here tonight like a butterfly,” she sings on “violence,” her words followed by booming drums. After three nearly percussion-less minutes, her breakthrough suggests that the price of escape—having to constantly look over her shoulder—is worth the departure.

Written in bursts over the past few years and co-produced with Phoebe Bridgers collaborator Marshall Vore, one hand covers a wide range of stories, both autobiographical and fictional. On the moody folk-pop highlight “partner,” Levy sings through hazy vocal filters over percussive pitter-patter, memories of a past romance flashing through her mind as she hits the road. On the throbbing nylon acoustic ballad “hurt,” she imagines busing back to her parents’ house after a particularly rough breakup; on “backyard,” she fantasizes about never having left in the first place. “Stars wouldn’t leave our backyards for as long as we’d ask them to stay/And they stayed,” she sings in a daze. She sounds like she wants to remain there forever too.

Levy is at her best when she’s retreating into fantasy. During the second verse of “my love 4 u is real,” she describes walking up cathedral steps, with a wedding band “foreshadowing something tragic, something mad.” As her narrator moves forward, Levy’s voice sharpens alongside backing vocalist Charlie Hickey, and the gurgling synths get louder. The music is appropriately high-stakes for the dizzy spells that Levy describes, and the melody only gets catchier as the noise increases. “I wanted so badly for you to feel it like I did,” she sings in her highest register, addressing a love that isn’t “like other love that hangs there half-dead, always taking something from behind your back.” The explosive distortion mirrors her rage and desperation at the unrequited affection.

This burst of electric guitar and drums, helping Levy convey the disorienting aftermath of doomed romance, feels more connected to the shapeshifting chaos of what we say in private than the rest of one hand: Nothing else here thrills like the constant twists of “mercury” or the monstrous seething that ended “for real now (not pretend).” Levy opts for more straightforward sounds, but she also manages to carve some new territory. The gentle yet ominous propulsion of “can’t stop me from dying” evokes the feeling of walking home alone at 5 a.m. in complete darkness, convinced a stranger is following you. “Nothing in the world can stop me from dying again,” Levy repeats, imagining her own Montreal version of the time-looping Netflix series Russian Doll. Both narratively and sonically, it’s a striking contrast to the album’s more literal stories: This fictional character actually can press the reset button. But each escape, whether real or imagined, is a chance to start anew.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ada Lea - one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden Music Album Reviews Ada Lea - one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 14, 2021 Rating: 5


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