Given that his last two singles, “Sunny and 75” and “Yeah,” both hit Number One, Joe Nichols sees no reason to bring down the tempo. He reveals exclusively to Rolling Stone Country that the similarly upbeat love song, “Hard to Be Cool” is the next radio release from his latest album, Crickets.
“It’s surprised me how popular it is in the live show,” he says of the tune, written by Rob Hatch and Jason Sellers. “That’s a good indicator of what album cuts should be singles: when people are singing every word to it, and they get excited right after hearing the intro.”
“Hard to Be Cool” just barely made it onto the album. Nichols was in a recording studio about to cut a different song as the last track for Crickets when the head of his record label, Benny Brown walked in with Sellers’ demo of the song.
“Benny came by and said, ‘You’ve gotta check this out.’ I said, ‘It’s pretty late in the process. I don’t know about that….,'” the singer recalls. “But he played it and I immediately said, ‘We’ve gotta cut it!’ It’s a fun song. But it’s also frightening, because Jason sang on the demo and he’s a great singer. So you want to at least sing it as good as he did, which is intimidating.”
The “Hard to Be Cool” lyric video, which makes its exclusive debut on Rolling Stone Country, stars a brunette video vixen (“heaven’s little devil”) heating things up in a snow cone truck. Directed by Ford Fairchild and Christina Cooper, the video spells out the song’s lyrics in several different flavors. Watch it above.