First Play Friday // ‘one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden’ – Ada Lea

It’s a new month already and, as well as new books to enjoy, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of music to listen to (either live or from the comfort of our homes) and this series of blog posts, started in June, aims to spotlight a new song/album I think you should be listening to.

Previous tracks include ‘I Did It To Myself’ by Dakota Jones, ‘Powerhouse’ by Stranger Girl, ‘Safe Bet’ by Cucamaras, ‘Fall Away’ by Rowdy Outsider, ‘The Absence of You’ by the Islas, ‘I Only Party (w my Baby)’ by SLUGS, ‘Watching Cartoons’ by La Luz, ‘Blame It’ by Marlow, ‘Perfect Design’ by Mason Rose Gray, ‘Cosmic Saturation’ by The Velveteins , ‘Matters’ by Methyl Ethel and ‘Hard Not to Love You’ by Zola Courtney.

For the thirteenth post of the series, I’m spotlighting one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden by Ada Lea.

On this album, the Montreal singer-songwriter shows off her varied style through stories of city life, somewhere between fiction and personal.

Album opener “damn” starts off a slow, bluesy track that gathers momentum and becomes a lamenting soft-rock song, as Lea bemoans friends, work, music and ringing phones.

“can’t stop me dying” brings the tempo up a bit, thumping drums against Lea’s whispery vocals. “oranges” starts off slow then gradually builds into a bluesy ballad-type song.

“partner” is littered with whispering vocals and captivating instrumentals. “saltspring” is a gorgeous acoustic track, reminiscent of Phoebe Bridgers.

Instrumental track “and my newness spoke to your newness and it was a thing of endless..” leads to a calmer second half of the album, starting off with the dreamy track “my love 4 u is real”.

“backyard” is a whispery track full of nostalgia and twinkling instrumentals, as Lea reflects on growing up.

“writer in ny” is slightly more upbeat, a mingling of soft vocals and acoustic guitar. Of all the tracks on the album, this is the one that allows you to appreciate Lea’s vocals.

“violence” is softer than you’d expect given its title. Final track “hurt” is a similarly soft track full of sensitivity, a track that brings together an album full of reflection and emotion.

I hadn’t heard of Lea prior to listening to this album but, as a fan of chilled, slightly emotional acoustic, this won’t be the last time I listen to her music.

© Saddle Creek, 2021.

The album ‘one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden’ is available to stream on Spotify.


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**This track has been sent to me via Prescription PR. I was not instructed to review this track and all opinions of it are my own.

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