Reviews

Ada Lea
What We Say In Private

(Saddle Creek)

7/10

The title of Ada Lea’s debut album hints at late night confessions and intimacies. What We Say in Private does have these moments, especially on the solo blues of ‘Yanking The Pearls Off Around My Neck’. Yet initially conceived as a concept record of two distinct sides, it’s also infused with breezy colour.

The one-woman project of Montreal-based Ali Levy, its duality is part borne of the jazz graduate playing indie. This brings unexpected details and structural twists to the material. ‘Wild Heart’ is a case in point. Essentially an intimate folk-pop number, on which her fingers can be heard sliding on the fret board and her voice softly brushing against the listener’s ear, it slides into oddness with a mix that occasionally turns up the clattering percussion.

‘For Real Now (Not Pretend)’ – one of three tracks that have been re-recorded from 2017’s demo release Bored – also skews generic indie with slightly out of synch spoken word lines and increasing distortion. This makes it sound like a finger has been smudged across the tape, which continues to rough up the intentionally loose playing on ‘What Makes Me Sad’.

These deeply human details are deepened by the sound of the outside world seeping into the recordings. ‘The Party’ ends with traffic noise and ‘Just One, Please’ opens with bird song and pitch-shifted dialogue, creating tracks that are simultaneously private in their loss and outward looking in their optimism of love.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.