More Keith Urban Songs Are Coming, But … [Interview]
The sound and style of Keith Urban's new song "We Were" is more reminiscent of music he created five to 10 years ago, but don't read into that too much.
Talking to Taste of Country, the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year reveals that he's not starting this next album-making process with any sort of predetermined vision or sound. If a song requires a more progressive, genre-bending arrangement it will get one. If it needs to be traditional country, he'll do that, too. It's an inside-out approach that, while not unusual in Nashville, is still unique, as he's so hands-on with the production.
"Everything is just a song by song basis," he says. "I mean, 'Burden' preceded that, which is nothing like 'We Were.' ... That’s an example of a song I loved, wanted to record and we just put it out. “We Were,” I loved it, we put it out and radio seemed to like it. I just make music and find where it lives."
Friday night's (June 7) 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival headliner relied on his hits during his 90-minute set, but he altered the arrangements on songs like "Sweet Thing" and inserted more crowd-participation moments and solos than fans know from his studio recordings. "We Were" came toward the end and was the only new song he played. That could change as he tours fairs and festivals this year. There's no album release in his immediate future, Urban says, but that doesn't mean he'll hold back on dropping new songs when he feels they're ready.
"(I'm) definitely working on new material all the time. Writing, recording — it'll be awhile, but hopefully, I'll be able to keep putting new music out. Doesn't have to be a whole record, just new music, steady," Urban says. "I think that just new music is the thing that we want as well as artists, as well as the audience."
Other artists have offered a similar sentiment in recent weeks and months. Blake Shelton, for example, questioned if his fans even want a full-length album from him, adding he's happy just continuing to release new songs as they come. A schedule of projects slated for a 2019 release show nearly as many EPs coming as LPs. In June, stars including Jennifer Nettles, Montgomery Gentry and Luke Combs dropped more bite-sized albums. Taste of Country's calendar shows that just two of seven projects coming this month are full albums.
It remains to be seen if how Urban approaches the release of his next album differs from how he's done it previously. The "Cop Car" singer is a unique artist who often holds an album until two or even three radio singles have been released. The mold of how to drop an album (often as the first single nears No. 1 on airplay charts) has been broken and — much like he's done with the mold of what people think of as country music — Urban was the first to come crashing through.
See Photos From the 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival