The songs on Cole Chaney’s debut album feel personal and for good reason. Many of those songs came from the young songwriter’s life. In “Mercy” he sings about the effects of corporate greed on his hometown. Cole tells the story of his grandfather’s early days in the coal mines in “Coalshooter,” and it’s a high point of the record. However, “Wishing Well” might be the most relatable song on the Mercy. That song is all about how social media is making us all a little crazy.
Recently, I talked to Cole Chaney about his debut album and building his career during the pandemic. While on the phone, we talked about a few cuts from Mercy. I had to know more about “Wishing Well.”
Cole Chaney Talks About “Wishing Well”
If you’re fortunate enough to catch Cole Chaney live, there’s a good chance that you won’t hear this song. Cole said he only breaks this particular tune out about once a month because it’s almost out of his vocal range. As a result, it’s hard on his voice to sing it too often. However, he’s still fond of “Wishing Well.”
About the origins of the song, Cole Chaney said, “That song almost ended up being a pissed-off rant on Facebook. I ended up just turning it into a song instead and it makes me a lot more money that way.” If you listen to the song, you can still hear an angry Facebook rant lurking just behind the guitar and expertly-penned lyrics.
Lines like “Hysteria is commonplace / The whole world is just one click away / Everybody speaks before they thing / The media feeds on Judgment Day,” reveal some of the anger behind the song.
However, the opening line “Too much power in our hands” reveals the real focus of the song. About this Cole Chaney said, “That line is probably my favorite line in the song. It’s talking about phones, it’s too much power to be able to access all this information and spew dumb shit on the internet.”
Social Media: A Necessary Evil
At this point, having some sort of social media presence seems almost mandatory. For up-and-coming artists like Cole Chaney, it’s a big part of the job. Cole sees it as a necessary evil. “I can honestly say that I would not have near as much success were it not for social media. I say this even knowing that: I would 100%, tomorrow, be okay with never being on my phone or social media ever again and just go back to having a landline telephone. That’s the ideal life for me.”
Cole Chaney went on to say that he’s looking forward to the day when he can hire folks to handle his social media accounts for him and he can focus on creating and performing music.
Then, Cole Chaney talked a little more about why he’s not a fan of social platforms. “The thing that bothers me the most about social media is how comfortable people have gotten talking to each other the way that they do, being so disrespectful to each other. It’s not cool, man,” he said. He continued, talking about the ceaseless arguing and fighting on social media platforms. “That’s a real person that you’re interacting with on the other end of that phone. You guys are ruining each other’s day and you probably live on opposite ends of the country if not the earth. It’s so dumb. It doesn’t make any sense at all and I can’t stand it.”
Fortunately, Cole Chaney is avoiding the worst parts of social media. While on the topic, I asked if he was on Twitter and he replied, “Absolutely not, dude. Won’t do it. I won’t do Twitter and I won’t do TikTok.”
You can, however, find Cole Chaney on Instagram where he keeps his followers updated on shows and new music.