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Montreal, Quebec-based musician Alexandra Levy—who records and performs as Ada Lea—is also a painter and visual artist, and traces of her many creative abilities run throughout her debut album what we say in private, a beautifully colourful collection of profound pop songs released via Saddle Creek + Next Door Records.
Whether it’s creating music or art, “It's a world that I can build around me and sit inside,” she says. ‘what we say in private’ began with a need to document the ending of an important romantic relationship. Following a significant breakup, she journaled for 180 days and the process eventually resulted in a rebirth: a rediscovery of self and a new sense of freedom and self-acceptance.
These chaotic feelings and the resulting catharsis are deeply felt in the final recording of ‘what we say in private’. Levy wanted the Ada Lea album to feel like a journal entry from those 180 days as she cycled through emotions. Throughout, she expresses feelings and thoughts that all humans experience behind closed doors and alone, but are conditioned to keep to themselves. This is reflected in the lyrics, the artwork, and the songs -- together forming a public exhibition of deeply private matter. The album is a collection of raw, confessional, and at times messy emotions, presented to a society that can fear such realness, often favouring the uncomplicated, curated, and manicured.
Levy delivers something very special on what we say in private. Bold and daring, but also gentle and vulnerable, the album finds new ways of presenting its vision from one inspired idea to the next, a big leap into the wider world with passion and exuberance.