Today, Montreal’s Ada Lea (the moniker of Alexandra Levy) presents a new single/video “hurt,” her first new piece of music since 2020’s woman, here EP.
“hurt” lives in a snowy Montreal winter, a city that Levy calls home and lives and breathes through her music. It thrums with bass and brooding keys, as Levy uses frank language and imagery: “somebody hurt me badly, now I’m stuck in a rut / now I don’t know my body / I could say it or say nothing at all / take a walk or take none at all / get on a bus back to Montreal / tell my friends or say nothing at all.” When the song hits its peak, her voice is carried by a swirl of strings and quick-tempoed keys. In the accompanying video, directed by Monse Muro, Levy sits at a decorated table, awash in desaturated colours. Peculiar images and colours flash through as the song grows in intensity.
“I wanted to find a way to communicate complicated feelings using the simplest language possible,” says Levy. “I came with a narrative and removed almost every detail, so as not to obfuscate the feeling – but left it open in terms of a resolution: was this hurt necessarily a bad thing?”
“Hurt” follows Ada Lea’s woman, here EP (2020) and her debut album, What We Say In Private (2019), which is a moving, uniquely executed body of work. A 10-track diaristic mapping of the aftermath of a break-up, the record is a compassionate, yet wholly honest and confessional exploration of that weird period of time that’s mostly a scramble to gather all the floating parts of your self back into your body. Feelings, emotions and recovery are messy; Lea doesn’t sugarcoat it. “hurt” is a first taste of what’s to come next, and it is just as heartbreakingly beautiful.