At Outsider, we know that life can get hectic. All the things on your plate can make you momentarily lose focus of the simple joys in life. Things like spending some time outdoors, talking to your loved ones, or having a meal with family can be the highlight of your week. Those small and sacred moments can also lead to some of the longest-lasting memories.
Cole Chaney’s “Another Day in the Life” is a great reminder to take a moment to enjoy the little things in life, while you can. That’s why it’s this week’s Outsider Anthem.
Cole Chaney’s debut album, Mercy, dropped on May 15. And it has been in my heavy rotation ever since. Mercy is a collection of songs forged from the kind of pain and desperation that can only be born in Kentucky coal country. “Another Day in the Life” is one of the most upbeat songs on the record, which makes it an outlier. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Instead, it’s a song about facing life’s hardships, while still being able to see the joy in the small—yet important—things.
The verses highlight some of those special moments, but the latter half of the chorus is what drew me in.
“We ain’t here for long / Just singin’ songs / Passin’ time ’till I die / Enjoyin’ simple things / Stayin’ halfway sane / Just another day in the life.”
Hotter Than a Coal Fire
Cole Chaney is from Boyd County, Kentucky, but now resides in Lexington, according to Capture Kentucky. However, it was his upbringing in that small town that counted on an industry that is slipping away that blessed him with his poignant and poetic songwriting style. At the same time, the hard times he faced and witnessed fueled the stories that he tells in his songs. At just 20 years old, Chaney writes like a man twice his age.
Many people compare Cole Chaney to Tyler Childers. That’s fair, to an extent. His vocals are somewhat similar and they both hail from Appalachia. So, the stories of the region seep into both artists’ output like groundwater feeding a spring. However, that’s where the fair comparisons stop.
Chaney is far from a Childers clone. His sound is steeped in bluegrass. Fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, and acoustic guitar fill the space around Cole’s expressive voice. On the other hand, I will say that if you prefer Childers’ acoustic performances to his album cuts, you’ll love every minute of Mercy.
Enjoy the Little Things With Us
Lyrically, “Another Day in the Life” is as simple as the moments that it discusses. However, that doesn’t make it any less potent. Each short verse holds the same pattern. I’ll use the fourth verse as an example because it’s almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
“Well, I wet a line today / Didn’t catch a damn thing / But you know a bad day of fishin’ beats the hell out of workin’ / Yeah I wet a line today.”
Throughout the song, Cole Chaney sings about a wide range of little things that mean more than anyone can put into words. He called his papaw, spent time in the holler listening to the birds sing, and sat down at the table with his family for a meal. See, none of those things are monumental moments. However, they have the potential to put your feet back on the right path or stay in your memory forever.
More from Cole Chaney
If you like “Another Day in the Life,” you’ll probably like Cole Chaney’s entire debut album. However, I would suggest “Coal Shooter” and “The Flood”—they’re both killer songs built around even better stories.