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What We Say in Private


Artist: Ada Lea
Label: Saddle Creek
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 19 July 2019

Saddle Creek release What We Say in Private, the latest album from Ada Lee. A painter and visual-artist, as well as a musician, Lea hails from Montreal, Quebec, her new LP brings together all the intricate influences she’s been collecting over the years...

What We Say in Private originally started as one thing and morphed into something else. Initially conceived as a conceptual record formed from two distinct sides, one inspired by the sun and one from the moon, that idea waned over time as the songs themselves began to take shape.

"Over time, that idea started to feel wrong and out of place, and a distance had grown between me and the concept," Ada Lea says, upon reflection. "We stuck microphones out of windows in mid January to capture the chilly nighttime sounds. We recorded snow removal trucks backing into the lot, and airplanes flying overhead. We used voice memos, a piece from here and another from there".

I must admit that I didn't really warm to this album. Lea's vocals are effortless and hypnotic, but the songs are instantly forgettable. There wasn't a single song that I really engaged with. It has a timeless quality that is to be admired, but I assume that is accidental, rather than by design.

I can't help wonder how different the project might have been if Lea had kept to her original vision.


Nick Smithson

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