Cole Swindell’s Four-Year-Old Story Behind “Flatliner”

He Reveals His 2013 Email Pitch to Dierks Bentley

Before Cole Swindell signed his record deal, he was just another songwriter sending pitch emails to artists.

And when he wrote “Flatliner” in 2013, he had Dierks Bentley in mind.

So Swindell composed an email — “Hey guys, I wrote this today, and it’d be fun to play live” — but never heard back from Bentley or anyone else, he told

But once the two singers got to know each other a little better, Swindell told Bentley the story and sent him the song again.

“He emailed me back and said, ‘That’s a hit song, it’s awesome. I wish you’d sing it with me.’ We just kind of joked around about it forever until finally it got recorded. And now here I am on tour with him, and my seventh single on country radio has Dierks Bentley on it. That’s a dream come true,” Swindell said.

With two busy touring and recording artists, though, finding time to actually record the song wasn’t easy. Or brief.

“It can take a couple of months to get a song how you really want it. [Bentley’s] part didn’t take long. He came in one day and did vocals in three hours, and we laughed a lot. But when you’ve got somebody who’s a hero of yours on a track, you want it to be the best thing possible,” he said.

“Flatliner,” which he co-wrote with Jaron Boyer and Matt Bronleewe, is on Swindell’s You Should Be Here album.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.