Artist to Watch: Charli Adams Soars in Pulsing & Poignant New Single “Didn’t Make It”

Charli Adams © Jasmine Archie
An intimate rush of pulsing indie pop, Charli Adams’ “Didn’t Make It” stuns with heavy, raw lyrics and buoyant, in-your-face sonics that radiate the Nashville artist’s passion, drive, and commitment to her art and herself.
for fans of Litany, Ryann, MUNA, Sky Ferreira
Stream: “Didn’t Make It” – Charli Adams




I’m hiding in the bathroom, breaking down…

An urgent rhythm; a driving pulse; an aching voice full of anguish and longing. Charli Adams’ October surprise is one for the records: A cinematic indulgence with the temperament and finesse to propel her already impressive year-long presence to soaring new heights. An intimate rush of pulsing indie pop, “Didn’t Make It” stuns with heavy, raw lyrics and buoyant, in-your-face sonics that radiate the artist’s passion, drive, and commitment to her art and herself.

Didn't Make It - Charli Adams

Didn’t Make It – Charli Adams

I was calling out your name
we almost thought something would change
but you were smoking through the day
& we were kids we broke the chain
you say you won’t lie
I’ve only been waiting like a child
black car, hillside
it’s only the middle of the night

Released October 7, 2020 via Color Study / Ultra Records, “Didn’t Make It” is an exciting new development from Nashville’s Charli Adams, who hasn’t stopped releasing songs since her introduction this past November. She released her debut EP Good At Being Young, this past February, and has continued to actively release music over the past seven months. Coming off this May’s stirring acoustic two-track single “Heroes / Dying” / “Superheroes” and this summer’s breathtaking duet “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl” with Irish singer/songwriter (and labelmate) Rosie Carney, “Didn’t Make It” is a decidedly fresh, upbeat, and electrified sound for Adams.

In an interview earlier this year, Atwood Magazine columnist Coco Rich praised Adams for the effortless displays of vulnerability in her work, and the impressive wealth of emotion within her lyrics and sounds: “Like Phoebe Bridgers’ little indie sister, Adams is making music that’s a little less tormented and a little more dream pop, but equally as compelling, anthemic, and play-while-you-drive worthy.”

“I think sonically, I find myself influenced by cinematic or anthemic records, bands like The Cure, The 1975, Bon Iver,” Adams shared at the time. “When it comes to songwriting, I think I’m most influenced by more honest poetic writers, like Elliott Smith. I’ve always gravitated towards songs that make me feel something, so classic emo music has also heavily influenced my records.”

Charli Adams © Jasmine Archie

Charli Adams © Jasmine Archie



“Didn’t Make It” isn’t quite classic emo, but it certainly resonates with the cinematic and anthemic crowd. The lead single off Adams’ forthcoming debut album Bullseye shines with captivating depth, thanks as much to Adams’ vivid lyricism as to her compelling instrumentation. Built off a powerful bass line reminiscent of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” “Didn’t Make It” adorns an atmospheric radiance similar to that of The 1975 and The Japanese House.

“Didn’t Make It” is an intensely intimate upheaval set to an incredibly catchy soundtrack.

After establishing herself in the indie space, Charli Adams slides into that sweet spot in-between ’80s new wave, ’90s alternative, and ’00s indie folk. She taps into her wealth of heartfelt longing and vulnerability in a memorable, deeply introspective chorus drenched in emotion:

Always been the only thing that I want
sipping whiskey on your back porch
We almost made it but we got lost
no we don’t want to face it
but we didn’t make it
you’ve never been one to stick around
I’m hiding in the bathroom, breaking down
we almost made it but we’re lost now
No we don’t wanna face it
but we didn’t make it

“Didn’t Make It” was the first song I wrote for Bullseye,” Adams tells Atwood Magazine. “I remember going into the studio with the producer and co-writer Brian Kierulf (Lady Gaga, Mike Posner) aware of his credits. He worked on Fame Monster by Gaga, and Britney Spears, so I felt a bit misplaced. Immediately though, I clicked with Brian – we were both listening to Muna at the time – and the song was written and produced out within a few hours. It’s only fitting that “Didn’t Make It” is the first single released of Bullseye because it very subtly pushed me out of my indie comfort zone into what would become a more genre-bending alternative record.”

You were racing in the street
you never put your hands on me
and I was looking desperately
for something I would never see
You say you won’t lie
I’ve only been waiting like a child
black car tail lights
stuck in the middle of the night

Charli Adams sounds refreshed, invigorated, and self-assured as she begins her debut album cycle.

“Didn’t Make It” is an exciting first look at what’s to come for the Nashville artist-to-watch. She demands our undivided attention with poise, grit, heart, and dramatic flare. Whether you’re mending your own heart or in need of a glowing jam, put Charli Adams on the top of your list.

Always been the only thing that I want
sipping whiskey on your back porch
We almost made it but we got lost
no we don’t want to face it
but we didn’t make it
you’ve never been one to stick around
I’m hiding in the bathroom breaking down
we almost made it but we’re lost now
No we don’t wanna face it
but we didn’t make it

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:: stream/purchase “Didn’t Make It” here ::
Stream: “Didn’t Make It” – Charli Adams



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com