Today’s Song: Nightly Join Charli Adams in Reimagining Modern Love on “Maybe Could Have Loved”

Charli Adams © Luke Rogers
Charli Adams © Luke Rogers
Raw and vulnerable, Charli Adams’ “Maybe Could Have Loved” takes aim at the dating scene and hits the bullseye.
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Stream: “Maybe Could Have Loved” – Charli Adams




It’s no secret; dating is hard. Trying to find your bearings while being pulled by society’s diametrically opposed poles of “hookup culture” and “holding out for the one” can feel like a lot. Factor in the hoards of dating apps and any existential dread about the future? Well now it’s nearly impossible. If the concept of modern romance seems all but exhausting, you’re not alone. Charli Adams feels you. Quite frankly, she’s over it.

Maybe Could Have Loved - Charli Adams
Maybe Could Have Loved – Charli Adams

In “Maybe Could Have Loved,” Charli Adams teams up with NIGHTLY’s Jonathan Capeci to subvert what it means to date in the 21st century. Calling the whole system into question, Adams’ new single yearns for a simpler time, not-so-hopelessly romanticizing the idea of just telling someone you love them and seeing where it goes.

What ever happened to loving someone
Long enough to maybe hurt someone?
What ever happened to a little risk of getting sick of it?
Someone you maybe could have loved

An Atwood artist-to-watch, Charli Adams made quite the splash with her October 2020 single “Didn’t Make It”. A pulsating polymer of MUNA and Phoebe Bridgers, “Didn’t Make It” was raw but refined. “Maybe Could Have Loved” harnesses that same raw energy, but it intentionally skips the polish. “We recorded the guitars through an old 1950’s vocal mic”, Adams tells Atwood. “In the end, I think [it] may have captured a sense of vulnerability”. That vulnerability is echoed in lyrics like “at night when it gets heavy / I could be there to hold your head up, hold you steady“, and it’s in direct contrast to what Adams sees as the “cold and impassive hookup culture”.

After all, shouldn’t dating be vulnerable? As Adams sees it, even if it’s not an everlasting love, it should still be a love worth self-exposure and a love worth experiencing. “Love or a relationship doesn’t need to be permanent to provide value. Sometimes people come into our lives for just a short time and still make a difference and ‘Maybe Could Have Loved’ is about embracing that”. With lyrics like “can we forget about keeping shit so together? / forget about making this forever“, “Maybe Could Have Loved” eschews the anxiety about whether a relationship will work out in the long run. Recognizing that “nothing lasts” and opting instead to live in the moment (or perhaps more accurately to love in the moment), Adams’ latest track finds bliss in reimagining what modern love can be, if only “we said what we’re feeling“.

Charli Adams © Laura Bass
Charli Adams © Laura Bass



What ever happened to lovin’ someone
Long enough to maybe hurt someone?
What ever happened to a little risk of getting sick of it?
Someone you maybe could have loved

“I’ve talked about ‘Maybe Could Have Loved’ as being about the “pessimism in modern dating” and letting yourself love someone, but I didn’t necessarily mean it in this everlasting, one true, soul mate kind of way,” Adams tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s most directly inspired by a three month relationship I had one summer. I was planning to head to Europe in the fall and knew things probably weren’t going to last, but rather than focusing on the end date I tried to do my best to be in the moment and let myself love right then. Love or a relationship doesn’t need to be permanent to provide value. Sometimes people come into our lives for just a short time and still make a difference and MCHL is about embracing that.”

“I really thought the instrumental of this song was just going to be a demo so there are some really raw elements to it – We recorded the guitars through an old 1950’s vocal mic, sang a bunch of random shit through a vocoder and tucked in a hidden voicemail clip from an ex. In the end I think the rawness may have captured a sense of vulnerability though. I was listening to 22, A Million a lot at the time but I’m hesitant to say that’s a real influence here…it’s more a Kroger’s version of 22, A Million.”

I can’t forget, I keep reeling in October
I swear to God I could tell you wanted me to stay
Talked until I missed the train
You walked away
Can we forget about keeping shit so together?
Forget about making this forever, and nothing lasts
What would happened if we said what we’re feeling?
Charli Adams © Laura Bass
Charli Adams © Luke Rogers



A duet between newcomer Charli Adams and her housemate Jonathan Capeci, “Maybe Could Have Loved” further cements Adams’ place in the indie scene.

The latest track from her debut album Bullseye – aptly named after that time Adams played darts with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon (as one does), “Maybe Could Have Loved” doesn’t just take aim at modern romance; it hits the mark.

What ever happened to lovin’ someone
Long enough to maybe hurt someone?
What ever happened to a little risk of getting sick of it?
Someone you maybe could have loved
What ever happened to lovin’ someone
Long enough to maybe hurt someone?
What ever happened to a little risk of getting sick of it?
Someone you maybe could have loved

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:: stream/purchase “Maybe Could Have Loved” here ::
Stream: “Maybe Could Have Loved” – Charli Adams



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Maybe Could Have Loved - Charli Adams

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