I Could Go On Singing: An Interview with Adaline

Canadian alt-pop vocalist Adaline doesn’t have the same emotional attachment to songs of her childhood that others do. Growing up as the daughter of a minister, her varied musical environment ranges from musical theater to classical to gospel. Now as an adult and a musician, her moment to find and fall in love with music has just begun.

“I feel like my musical journey is very much going back as an adult to discover music,” she said. “There’s a part of me that now listens to these classic albums as an adult and as a musician that studied music and I can really see the talent in it and see how the composition was really complex and I can understand why it’s a hit.”

Pearl Jam’s Ten was her first taste of music outside of what her parents allowed her to listen to. Despite them finding the hidden record in her room multiple times, it was still one that shaped her eclectic taste. However, it wasn’t until her late teen years that music started to really resonate with her. She was first introduced to Radiohead from their song “Talk Show Host” appearing on the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. It wasn’t until she was 19 that she was re-introduced to them and really fell in love with their music. She also cites Sigur Rós and Björk as influences, who she says are both a little left of center and on a darker spectrum that she hadn’t really experienced before.  

That’s not to say she spent her childhood completely secluded. One of her major influences, Judy Garland, was introduced to her at a young age and really stuck with her. Adaline’s experiences with music and life in general were bright and positive and holding on to that era of pop music that had such an intense, emotional honesty in performances was something she really wanted to put into her own work.

Although her influences range from dark to bright, an interesting parallel between the two is what she enjoys most as a musician and as a music lover. “I did go to a lot of [Christian concerts] growing up and I feel there’s a big learning curve for me to get on stage and command attention for just myself without deflecting it to a higher power,” she said. “At the same time, I still feel very much at a concert that spiritual aspect of when a performer is really giving their heart and really giving a performance that is really honest. It feels like worship of some sort, not necessarily worship to a God but it feels very spiritual. It’s not necessarily a certain religion; it’s the spirituality of music and what it really does for people. I still really tap into that when I perform; I want people to feel something and to feel some kind of honest connection to themselves.”

From her Christian roots to her dive into UK-based rock bands and beyond, Adaline’s influences are as differing as they come. They each play a role in her own musical career as well as her musical journey. As she continues to explore and grow, it’s only a matter of time before her audience starts to grow with her.