When COVID-19 shut down touring, including Cole Swindell’s Down To Earth Tour, the singer knew he wanted to do something for his fans. He was already working on a new album when he heard the song “Single Saturday Night.”
“For me the sound of it was different,” Swindell explains during a recent virtual interview with Sounds Like Nashville and other local media. “The lyric is about seeing somebody on a Saturday night when you’re out with the guys … the white claw line that’s in it — I’d never heard that in a song! The whole twist at the end, when the two of them are going to church, was brilliant. I thought if I liked it that much then other people were going to like it too.”
The song, written by Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy and Mark Holman, came to Swindell directly from the writers. The singer had been out celebrating songwriter Rhett Akins’ birthday, and when he got home he received a text from Gorley with a copy of the song attached. Immediately after that, he received a text from Hardy, saying “Check this song out, it’s brand new.”
“I figure when two of my favorite songwriters send me the same song at the same time, I should listen,” Swindell said. “I listened to it on my phone the first time, then I went and got my headphones and listened again. I probably listened to it 10 times, and I knew I wanted to record it.”
While the song is about a guy who instantly falls for a girl he sees when he is in a bar with his pals, Swindell isn’t really sure there is such a thing as love at first sight.
“No, I think you gotta have somebody that’s real but if that’s how it starts then I’m good,” he says. As for him, “It’s gonna take the right girl that can understand music the way I do. My thing the past couple years has been finding that balance [of career and personal life]. I’ve put it all into music and career, and now I probably need to look at being more than one thing. I’ve still got places I want to go with my career.”
The singer goes on to say that single Saturday nights aren’t really that bad, but “Even though I haven’t had my last single Saturday night, I hope it’s someday soon.”
While fans are listening to “Single Saturday Night” while they are in quarantine, Swindell continues to write songs for his upcoming album as well as tries to get outside as much as he can. Thanks to Zoom, he and his friends and still been able to collaborate on new tunes.
“I’ve had a lot more time to come up with ideas about what I want to write about, so I can go into the Zoom sessions prepared. I’m just thankful we can write over the computer. I’ve been writing with people I know; I think it would be hard to do your first writing session with someone if you’re not in the room with them. There’s nothing like being in a room with people and throwing out a great line and freaking out. It’s as good as being on stage.
The singer has written a couple new songs that will be on the album, and has already recorded four songs, one of them a duet. He is trying to find a time when is everyone is comfortable in going back in the studio to record more tracks for the project.
He admits being in the midst of the pandemic has affected his writing. “I don’t know how the real world doesn’t affect you when you write a song. One song I wrote, called “One,” I don’t know that we would have written that without being in a time like now. I honestly think good will come out of this and if I can fit this in my album I will. It’s life.”
As for the pandemic, “I think everyone is handling the pandemic in different ways. In reality, it’s tough on everyone but we will get through it. Sometimes it takes something terrible to bring everybody together. I feel we are on the right track and hopefully we’ll get it all back rolling. I think everyone is learning we are all just people. Honestly, there is way more beauty than bad. We need to just be good to everyone, follow the golden rule … that is not hard to do. I have a band I have to take care of and whatever it takes, we’ll do it. I do believe we will come out better.”
As much as he wants to get back on the road, he realizes that decision is better left to his management team and the health officials. “As much as we want to play, we have to be smart about it. As soon as we can get out to play and it is safe and people will come see us, we’ll be out there. It’s been taken away from us and I never thought that would be possible. It’s crazy to think that I don’t know when the next show will be. I’ve been thinking about our first show back … it will be a special moment.”