August 17 will be a big day for fans of Cole Swindell, as the Warner Brothers recording artist will unveil his third full-length disc, All of It. When you throw in the four volumes of his successful Down Home Sessions EP series, it will mark the seventh release for the singer since bursting upon the scene with “Chillin’ It.” What has he learned in the five years since that song about the art of record-making? First of all, he stresses gratefulness.
“I realize how lucky I am to get to make music and about the power of songs,” he told Music Update Central. “I’ve known that as a fan, but in seeing the other side of it – not just my albums, but also the EP’s. Whether it’s a fun song or a sad song, I just want to put out the best album I can. I think that every album gives you a chance to express yourself differently. Going into a third album is a big deal. That’s why we led with ‘Break Up In The End.’ We do have fun stuff, but I also know what songs like that can do and how they affect people. I just think I’ve learned about balance – you’ve got to cover it all. I think this album is a little bit of all of the projects I have done. I think I’ve touched on things that I haven’t before, so it will be fun to see what people think.”
Swindell hopes fans will love the title cut – which came in way past the last minute.
All Of It (Concept Video)
“We were done with the album, and previously, when I was done with an album – I was done. That was the case this time around. I had an album I was proud of, and I was ready to go. I was on the way to a West Virginia basketball game, and my buddies had the song, and said ‘I know you’re done recording, but you’ve got to hear this song.’ I listened to it, and I knew I had to have it. I couldn’t imagine anyone else recording it. It was something that I felt the album was missing, and my team agreed with me on it. It’s just a feel-good vibe that I don’t think I’ve had since ‘Chillin’ It.”
One of the emotional highlights from the album is “Dad’s Old Number,” which closes out the record. The song has made an impact on Swindell personally, as the singer lost his father, William Keith Swindell, in September 2013 – just as his career was taking off. His passing inspired his hit “You Should Be Here.” The new song will likely tug on those same heartstrings.
“People have asked me how I perform ‘You Should Be Here,’ and I just know that there are other people who need to hear it just as bad as I do or maybe even worse. Chase McGill and Jessi Alexander wrote the song on my bus. They were out with me one weekend writing, and he told me the title. I automatically went to football, and he said ‘No, having your dad’s old number that you can’t call anymore. I was immediately just floored. The next day comes, and I’m taking a nap. I wake up, and they’ve texted me and asked if I wanted to write the song with them. He plays it for me, and apologizes, saying that it just all fell out, and I just say ‘Are you kidding me?’ I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be a part of it. Sometimes, as an artist, I think you can overthink things, and I could have messed that song up somehow. I know they had me in mind. These kinds of songs are the ones that stick with people forever, and are why I love Country Music. No other genre can make me feel like I do right now talking about it.”
Swindell will be taking his new music to the fans with his Reason To Drink….Another tour, which ramps up October 4 in Tuscaloosa. Opening for the singer will be Dustin Lynch and Lauren Alaina – which excites him very much.
“This is the first year headlining for me, and it’s a big deal. I’ve toured with a lot of people that have believed in me, and now being able to take Dustin and Lauren out is exciting. I can’t imagine a better line-up. That, to me, is one of the most exciting things about the whole tour.”
Putting together a show as a headlining act is new ground for Swindell. What makes it different?
“I think I’ve learned a lot about the overall show – which starts with the lineup. Having Lauren and Dustin out with us is key. Another change is being in that sweet spot of having forty-five minutes the past couple of years where I just sing my hits and maybe a couple of album cuts. But, now we’re going to ninety minutes, and I don’t have ninety minutes of hit songs. So, I’m really working on putting on a show, because before I didn’t have much time. I couldn’t sing my songs and tell my story. I want people to know more about me than when they came in. I have also learned a lot when it comes to off-stage in the way that you treat your people. You’re waiting to go on stage, but they’re the ones that have been working their butts off all day, so you can go on stage. Everybody I’ve ever toured with has been great, and I want to follow that along. Anything that I can pass along to anyone who tours with me, I’m there for them. There have been plenty that have been there for me,” he says, alluding to acts such as Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, whom he has opened for.