“‘Maybe Tonight’ began as a message to myself,” Tom Mackell told American Songwriter.
Dropping on March 5, “Maybe Tonight” is the first single from the singer-songwriter since last year’s “Strange Times.” With a genre-blending, country-pop arrangement, a heartfelt narrative and a chorus hook that’ll get stuck in your head for days, the new single came about after Mackell did some soul-searching on the road.
“I was sitting on the idea during my drive from Charleston to Nashville, reflecting on my current relationships,” he explained. “The song is inspired by love and the feeling of starting something new. I wanted to capture the energy, excitement and hesitation of it—not knowing whether things will work out, but hoping that they do.”
After rolling into Nashville, Mackell wasted no time fleshing out his ideas and getting them onto tape. “The following day, I met up with my good friend and collaborator, Tony Lucca,” he remembered. “He loved the idea, so we dove straight in. We played around with a few different chord progressions and vocal melodies before the chorus was written. As soon as we had the chorus, the verses came pretty easily. Once we got rolling, the song was finished in about two hours.”
Dropping alongside the single is a corresponding music video, which features Mackell and his team getting clever about utilizing the COVID-19 pandemic to bring home the song’s theme.
“The video had to capture the energy of the song,” Mackell began. “When you meet someone and make that real connection, it’s truly rare. And when that does happen, it can actually feel like the whole room is completely empty. That’s why the empty bar setting worked.”
Yet, perhaps the most emblematic portions of the video are the shots of Mackell not alone, but on stage with his band. Taking great pleasure in the earnest joy of playing in a group with other musicians, Mackell noted that jamming with the band was his favorite part of making “Maybe Tonight.”
“I am extremely proud of the final product and I’m even more proud of the band,” he said. “I feel we successfully captured the emotion and raw energy of this song. When I first heard Sol come up with the guitar solo, I knew we were onto something. That was the moment when the song began to take form. Some good friends and great musicians lent an ear to the song and message and then we gave it our all with the performance. I think it’s a feeling everyone can relate to, no matter what.”
Watch the music video for “Maybe Tonight” by Tom Mackell below: