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Ada Lea, 'Damn'

The first track on Ada Lea's forthcoming sophomore record, one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden, is a knockout. "Damn" begins "at the back of a train of thought," and from there, songwriter Alexandra Levy's stream-of-consciousness delivery, both melodic and conversational, evokes a kind of claustrophobia, like the acute loneliness you might feel at a party where you know you're supposed to be having fun. The intensity builds until the song's final minute, where Levy curses a stream of nouns: "damn the work, damn the music / damn the fun that's missing," she sings, and goes on: "damn the drugs, damn the friends / damn the phone that's ringing," her voice rising in pitch and frustration. It's propulsive, unsettling and exquisite – and an impressive way to kick off an album.

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