Montreal singer/songwriter Ada Lea (born Alexandra Levy) has announced her new album, the Fiona Apple-esquely titled one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden, out Sept. 24 on Saddle Creek. Released alongside the LP’s details is the video for the cheerfully doomy “damn,” the second single off the record after “hurt.”
The first of one hand on the steering wheel’s 11 tracks, “damn” depicts a New Year’s Eve party dogged by a grim, yet indistinct foreboding—perhaps the same looming climate catastrophe, which humanity ignores and exacerbates with bluff hubris, to which Levy’s album title alludes. Drinking, doing drugs and cracking jokes about death, the revelers do all they can to alleviate their dread of the ever-deepening shadow they’re standing in: “Every year is just a little bit darker / Then the darker gets darker / Then it’s dark as hell,” Levy sings over slightly distorted electric chords and keys, raising her voice as she damns everything distracting us from impending doom.
one hand on the steering wheel follows Ada Lea’s 2019 debut what we say in private, and is described in a press release as both “a collection of walking-paced, cathartic pop/folk songs” and “a book of heart-twisting, rear-view stories of city life. The album is set in Montreal and each song exists as a dot on a personal history map of the city where Levy grew up. The city exists as both the location of and a character in many of these songs.”
Levy wrote and demoed her new set of songs during an artist residency in Banff, Alberta, reuniting with her woman, here EP (2020) collaborator Marshall Vore (Phoebe Bridgers) to round the album into form. “Marshall’s expertise and experience with drumming and songwriting was the perfect blend for what the songs needed,” she recalls in a statement. “He was able to support me in a harmonic, lyrical, and rhythmic sense.” Drummer Tasy Hudson, guitarist Harrison Whitford (of Bridgers’ band) and mixing engineer Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett) also lent their talents to the project.
Watch the “hurt” video (dir. Monse Muro, with choreography by Axelle “Ebony” Munezero and Brittney Canda) and Ada Lea’s 2019 Paste Studio session below, and find the details of one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden further down.
one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden Tracklist:
02. can’t stop me from dying
06. and my newness spoke to your newness and it was a thing of endless
07. my love 4 u is real
09. writer in ny
one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden Album Art: