Indie Mixtape 20: Charlotte Cornfield’s ‘Could Have Done Anything’ Hopes To Stand The Test Of Time

“Nowhere to go, nothing to do, except lie here with you,” Toronto songwriter Charlotte Cornfield gently sings on “Nowhere.” The song exemplifies how Cornfields upcoming album, Could Have Done Anything, leans endearing compared to her breakthrough, gut-punch of an LP Highs In The Minuses.

While her previous LP featured songs about failed relationships and navigating your 20s, Cornfield now tackles a new chapter. On Could Have Done Anything, she writes reflective tunes inspired by her committed relationship (she also just became a first-time mom!) The album is touched with the feeling of safety and comfort that comes with falling in love. While there’s plenty of songs out there that describe lust and the burning passion of a new relationship, Cornfield offers intimate snapshots of the oftentimes overlooked parts of a relationship, like when your partner picks you up from the airport. Pastoral and cinematic, songs like “You And Me” and “In From The Rain” capture fleeting moments and expertly spin them into lasting memories.

Ahead of Cornfield’s upcoming album, Could Have Done Anything, she sits down with Uproxx to talk Neil Young, sleeping next to a ferret, and being a new mom in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Immediate, spacious, lyrical, true.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

Songs that stand the test of time.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

It’s a three-way tie between Toronto, Montreal, and New York. Those three cities have deep significance to me and are all over the lyrics to my songs.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

It changes, but right now I would say Lucinda Williams. I’m so inspired by her poetic, honest songwriting and general badassery.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

I was in a little surf town in Mexico called San Pancho, and there’s a tiny outdoor vegetarian food stand in the centre of the town with a few tables. I can’t even remember what it’s called, but I ate there pretty much every day when I was there, and the food was just so fresh and delicious and healthy and I still think about it.

What album do you know every word to?

Neil Young Live at Massey Hall 1971.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

Three that stand out are: Charles Bradley at Halifax Jazzfest 2011, Stevie Wonder at Bell Centre in Montreal in 2007, Sharon Van Etten at Il Motore in Montreal in 2012, and then again at the Danforth in Toronto in 2019.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

I love jumpsuits. They’re simple, comfortable, and I feel like myself when I wear them. There are lots of variations and you can have a lot of fun with color.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

Niko Stratis on Twitter. She’s brilliant and hilarious and her tweets are so great.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

Lately, it’s been Teenage Sequencer by Pedro The Lion, and Telephone Line by ELO.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Something about babies, ’cause I just had a baby.

What album makes for the perfect gift?

Tapestry by Carole King.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

I stayed on a floor in Kamloops, BC once and my host had a pet ferret that was on the loose in the apartment and kept trying to burrow into my sleeping bag and bite me. That was pretty weird.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

I don’t do tattoos because I have severe psoriasis, but my partner Nelson has a tattoo that I love, of a fire hydrant surrounded by blooming plant life. I wrote about it in the song “Black Tattoo.”

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

So many, but some current faves: Leo Nocentelli, The Roches, Yo La Tengo, Bernice, MJ Lenderman, and Feist (her new record is so gorgeous).

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

My partner and I have a new baby, and our community of friends and family has been so incredibly supportive and generous and in helping us make these early days go smoothly, bringing food and helping out. I am so moved by everyone’s kind and loving gestures, and so grateful.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

I would tell myself to slow down. I was always rushing everything at that age.

What’s the last show you went to?

Do Make Say Think at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

High Fidelity. I know it hasn’t aged well but it’s a classic to me.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

I’m a half-decent ice hockey player.

Could Have Done Anything is out 5/12 via Polyvinyl / Double Double Whammy. Find more information here.