Video Premiere: Adaline’s Achingly Raw “How Could We Know”

Adaline © 2017
Adaline © 2017

It’s hard to truly appreciate a moment for all it’s worth. How can we know if we’re living in the good times? The truth is that when times are good, we are far too busy basking in their warmth to step back and fully appreciate them. Only when the switch flips, and things go south, can we really recognize the moments we’ve had – and by then, their fires are already passed. Adaline’s “How Could We Know” is an achingly mournful reflection on good times gone bad, bursting with longing and learned helplessness as the artist succumbs to her relationship’s fate.

Our words won’t add up in the way that we’d like
We borrowed our time from a different life
So careless your hands pull me from the inside
How could we know
How could we
Watch: “How Could We Know” – Adaline

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the live music video for “How Could We Know,” off Adaline’s upcoming album Aquatic (out June 2 via Cadence Music). Born in Canada and based in Los Angeles, composer/vocalist Adaline conceptualized her new album as a “metaphorical baptism” – a fresh start. “How Could We Know” connects the past to the present as Adaline looks back, wistfully and knowingly, on a moment of bliss cut short.

Aquatic - Adaline
Aquatic – Adaline

“This song touches on some universal themes of bad timing,” reflects Adaline. “I think it’s something everyone can relate to – we’ve all been through it. Being engaged in something that is doomed yet has an unshakable force that keeps you entangled.” Adaline’s raw performance of this song is particularly raw: “Wait, don’t forget about me when the days lay low,” she belts with spine-tingling emotion in an emotional chorus. “Stay, tie your heart to my hand so I never let go.” We watch passion collide with tension as Adaline rides waves of electric energy. This is real.

“How Could We Know” is powerfully and painfully intimate. “Lyrically, this song came into being like a lot of the songs on Aquatic, when I was on the ocean,” Adaline says. “I was separated from someone I loved and the vastness of the ocean was so present. I felt very alienated and distant. It wasn’t someone I could be with and the ocean only made the distance grow. It was a tragic feeling, and very much inspired ‘tie your heart to my hand so I never let go‘ (lyric) because as much as I knew I needed to, I didn’t want to.”

All caught up in this it’s gonna take us down
This anthem of words that were never allowed
So breathless from your mouth I revel in the sound
How could we know
How could we
How could I want another
I’m addicted to the touch I know
Just when I thought I had it
I had it all
The days have turned from colour
They’re calling back the one I love
Adaline © 2017
Adaline © 2017

The song is also bombastic – swooping highs crash into bellowing lows, filling the sonic spectrum with life. Adaline’s inspiration for the music actually came from a television scene. “I was asked to write for a TV show, and was sent the scene to write to. Sonically the picture really shaped my choices. Lyrically I didn’t draw from the narrative, but musically I did. It was dramatic and sweeping and the synths I ended up using were definitely inspired by the epic nature of the scene.”

Adaline is poised, vulnerable and honest on “How Could We Know” as she comes to terms with the untimely disintegration of something she once held so dear and close to her heart. She tries with all her might to keep the flame alive, and we see the purity of that passion in her live performance: She gives each moment her all, reeling from the physical and emotional energies inside her.

But the moment of ecstasy has passed; in its wake lies darkness and confusion. At the end of the day, sometimes the only answer that makes any sense is, how could we know?

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Aquatic - Adaline

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