Canadian songwriter Alexandra Levy, known as Ada Lea, released her second studio album on Friday and it doesn’t disappoint. Levy’s latest project, “One Hand on the Wheel, the Other Sewing a Garden” is a sequel to her 2019 debut album, “What We Say In Private”. “Private” didn’t enjoy much chart success, but was well received by critics and received a decent radio track for her single, “The Party” in Canada.

The artist’s fusion of pop, funk and low-fi and hi-fi sounds captures his lyrics with a soothing and painful singing voice that has defined the alternative pop genre in recent years. What sets Levy’s music apart is the dense and singular narration of his words. On Twitter, Levy said the entire album is set in Montreal, Canada. As you go further down the trail you get a little window into Lea’s story. In “Partner,” you listen to Levy’s reminiscence of a past love as she is whisked away in a cab from a party. A former lover suddenly walks into the party and turns Levy’s party around. This whole story is told in a 3:45 song, but every word is signed with loneliness, pain, longing and a helping hand for all broken hearts.

Songs like “damn” and “oranges” sound timeless with their 60s / 70s studio sound. Guitarist / bassist Mass Rousseau and keyboardist Harris Shper show off their classically trained talent. Rousseau’s finger-picked sonic guitar would knock anyone off if Levy’s sound was a little heavier. Rousseau has an ability to combine difficult riffs while retaining the patience that is reminiscent of older bands such as The Mama’s and the Papa’s or Jefferson Airplane. Shper’s greatest talent on the keyboard is delivering those ethereal low and high fidelity sounds that complement Levy’s vocals. It is not only the accent of the voice, but compliments Rousseau’s gentle and empathetic guitar playing.

While working on the album, you find a general theme of shyness. While Levy’s voice is a watermark to her sound, she has an ability in songs such as ‘can’t help but die’ and ‘backyard’ where her vocal range and talent are truly showcased. . I would love to see more of his awe-inspiring vocal talent. But I think just like there are no capital letters in or on the album, there are no statements in his music. No explosions, boiling, effusion or pushing. There are spasms of good sound but the shyness of Levy’s music inevitably holds everything back. Pain is expressed in vocals, guitar, piano and even Evn Tighe’s light drums.

The alternative genre has seen a new landscape over the past decade. The charts aren’t dominated by folk-centric guitar ballads, rather they are fused with today’s pop sound. “One hand on Levy’s steering wheel, the other sewing a garden,” is a warm hand extended to the youth of today in pain and the Levy of yesterday.

Jack R. Jordan is a reporter for The Moultrie Observer. Contact him at jack.jordan@gaflnews.com.