Montreal-based artist and new Saddle Creek signee Ada Lea has announced her debut album, what we say in private, coming July 19. She’s also invited us to “the party,” sharing an oddly mesmerizing video for her LP’s lead single.
The visual (dir. Monserrat Muro) opens on Lea strutting into an empty house, where she heads upstairs, sheds her gold astronaut blanket and sips purple liquid in front of a mirror. After removing her earrings, she turns to face the camera and then holds eye contact for the remainder of the video, stepping onto a stationary bike, casting her jacket aside and picking up speed as the song crescendos. Meanwhile, Lea looks back on a fleeting evening over muted guitar and slow-building piano, singing, “And that night was a pure shade of honest / or something / Was I wrong because I couldn’t tell the difference at all?” After “the party,” we’re left feeling like Lea: half-empty in the quiet, certain that we missed something and wondering what it would have felt like to experience it fully.
“‘the party’ came about after spending a magical night on the town with close friends. The song kind of just wrote itself. I always kept trying to make it a longer song, but nothing seemed to fit—or it felt like it was divulging too much,” Lea recalls. “I wanted to capture that delightfully unsatisfying quality of the night; being together but wanting something more to happen, yet reveling in the power that had brought us all together at that special moment. That’s life, though … isn’t it? When you’re truly living the moment, you get home and wish you could live it again and again.”
what we say in private stemmed from Lea’s need to document the dissolution of an important romantic relationship, and was crafted to come across like a journal entry from the 180-day period she spent finding herself again and processing the emotions that threatened to overwhelm her in the aftermath. Working with producer Tim Gowdy, Lea incorporated everything from the sounds of nearby snow removal trucks and airplanes to voice memo fragments into her album, opening it up to let the world in. Such sounds can be heard at the end of “the party,” as the last guitar notes give way to the white noise of passing traffic that accompanies a hard-breathing Lea staring back at us. It’s a profoundly lonely-feeling moment, but one that we and Lea can share with each other.
Lea heads out on tour this week in support of Angelo De Augustine, playing a half-dozen dates around the U.S. starting in San Francisco this Friday, May 10. More dates will be announced in the near future.
Watch the video for “The Party” and see the details of what we say in private below, and find Lea’s tour itinerary further down. You can preorder her album here.
what we say in private Tracklist:
02. wild heart
03. the party
04. for real now (not pretend)
05. just one, please
06. what makes me sad
07. the dancer
08. yanking the pearls off around my neck…
09. 180 days
what we say in private Album Art:
Ada Lea Tour Dates:
10 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Cafe Du Nord
11 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Lodge Room
15 – Vienna, Va. @ Jammin Java
16 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Locks
17 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ The Park Church Co-Op
20 – Allston, Mass. @ Great Scott
(all supporting Angelo De Augustine)