Track Review: damn // Ada Lea

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Photo credit: Monse Muro

Since the restrictions have been lifted in the UK, some of us are feeling understandably nervous about returning to clubs and parties; it’s as if some of the glitter has been rubbed off of the whole affair. Following in this vein, Canadian singer-songwriter Ada Lea takes off the rose-tinted lenses as she intricately describes a doomed party in her new song ‘damn’.

Initially an airy song, ‘damn’ opens with a funky finger-picked beat and steady percussion, gradually building in depth before Lea’s husky vocals launch into a vivid description of a new year’s eve party. Sung in an almost spoken style, it’s easy to hear every word of the story that Lea spins around her audience, totally consuming them with her storytelling skills. 

As the story progresses, the celebratory undertone of the song fades away as the realisation dawns that the party in which Lea has invited us to is not all glitter balls and merriment. As the edges of Lea’s sonic vignette begin to bleed into the frame, the lyrics take a darker, melancholic turn, “but sometimes a good friend ain’t enough to grab ya and pull you out.” 

Neatly sandwiched between the melancholic verses is a buttery guitar solo which perfectly complements Lea’s raw vocal and provides a brief respite from the ever building tension. As the song creeps forwards, it builds in layer after layer of texture and emotion, before reaching the crescendo outro which is imbued with Lea’s cathartic prowess. 

Alongside the release of ‘damn’, Ada Lea has announced the release of her second album one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden sometime in September. If ‘damn’ is anything to go by, we are set to be gifted further with a collection of gorgeously detailed songs making the everyday shimmer through her beautiful and intricate narration. 

Words by Ella McLaren 


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