Charli Adams

Agent: Chris West 
Territory: North America
Label: Color Study / Ultra Records

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At age seventeen, Charli Adams moved out of the family home and set herself up six hours away in Nashville. She views this shift in surroundings as a sort of personal rebirth. Settled into her adoptive hometown, Adams would go on long drives, immersing herself in classic records for hours at a time. “It was a culture shock,” she laughs. “My CD collection was like: Bruce Springsteen, Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles. I was essentially catching up on the music I missed out on growing up. These artists are all so honest and forthcoming about their struggles. I was taught to hide things, to keep going, to pretend everything’s fine. It really inspired the songwriting.”

Bullseye, the title of Charli Adams’ debut LP, comes from a late-night nickname that stuck. On a hazy evening at a favorite basement spot in Nashville, Adams spotted Justin Vernon across the bar. She planned on keeping her distance from a musician idol until the man behind Bon Iver overheard Adams discussing theology. The pair got chatting and took their discussion to the dartboard. “I ended up beating him!” she recounts, “We stayed out past last call listening to new music, and he called me Bullseye all night.” This unencumbered persona became shorthand for a musical, confident, connective version of Charli Adams, a person who hardly existed just a few years earlier.

Morphing into Bullseye has been a long journey of internal reflection for Adams, who grew up “convervative and very Christian” in southern Alabama. A self-proclaimed, “recovering people pleaser,” Adams was captain of the cheer team, a worship leader at church, and assumed she would follow a similar path to her siblings: “go to school at the University of Alabama, find a husband, get a job, and live a generally god-fearing life.” Naturally curious, and filled with existential questions, Adams tried to suppress any inkling that there was an alternative. “Being a skeptic is not encouraged,” she says of growing up. “Do not ask questions, do not explore what your mind is naturally wondering.”

Always a prolific writer, Adams chose the 11 songs on Bullseye from a collection of over 50. They were written and produced from LA to London with a cast that included Ruston Kelly, Novo Amor, Patrick Dillett (St. Vincent, David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens) and Dan Grech (Lana Del Rey, Regina Spector, Troy Sivan).