Ada Marques might only have two singles out so far but there’s no question about the cathartic eloquence of her music. Her first single “Bell,” a lilting folk strummer reinforced by somber horns and her own dulcet murmurs, revealed her need to translate personal strifes into opportunities for collective healing.
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Ironically, the solitude of being an only child spurred Marques’ reaching for songwriting, influenced as she was at an early age by everyone from Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Stevie Nicks. Jotting down her thoughts on everyday life and favorite movies or books eventually led to writing her own songs — as well as for others. The fixation of her music so far has been to shed some warm light on the fears that once plagued her.
Even the lyric video for her single “Bell” is a soothing experience, shot as it is like a nostalgia-laden home video. Not to mention lush instrumentation that swells right alongside the ardent tenderness that gushes from Marques’ lyrics.
Marques’ second single “Napkin” is no less healing in its melodic arrangement. But this time she shows a more self-eviscerating side, one that takes an intimate look at the ugly hate we often direct inwardly at ourselves. “Darling can’t you see, they wouldn’t care less if you leave,” she coos over the plucks of acoustic guitars. “If I’m honest, I’m never truly honest, with anyone but myself.”
Both singles get at the heart of the effects a childhood in isolation had on Marques. But they also help normalize the turmoil each of us faces emotionally and mentally every day, especially in terms of having honest and meaningful conversations about them.
Words by Steven Ward