Keith Urban on New Music: ‘I Don’t Even Know About Albums for Me Right Now’
It would be a stretch to insinuate that The Speed of Now Part 1 will be Keith Urban's last album, but his future as an album-focused country artist seems murky. The "Wild Hearts" singer finds himself attracted to a much more immediately gratifying method of music delivery.
"We Were," "God Whispered Your Name" and "One Too Many" with Pink were the three radio singles from The Speed of Now Part 1 (2020), and as he's done on previous albums, Urban dropped two of those songs before the project even had a name. Given his last record's title, however, it's tempting to assume that any new music will be a part of The Speed of Now Part 2 — but Urban isn't promising that.
Talking about his new song "Wild Hearts," the two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year winner said he's really not sure how he'll package that song and any others he might record soon. “Honestly, I don’t even know about albums for me right now," Urban says.
"I love writing and recording new music, and if it’s a song or if it’s two or if it’s six or if it’s 13, it comes when it comes," he adds. "I just assume 'get it out,' honestly. Just keep it coming.”
It may not be a totally new strategy for Urban. Leading up to the announcement of past albums, the 53-year-old has always been coy about what he's working on, rarely committing to a project or even admitting to following the typical Music Row progression of things. Talking to Taste of Country Nights' Evan and Amber, he conceded that he tends to just write and record until he's accumulated a mass of songs, "then I’ll look to see if there’s a way for those to go together," he says.
If he were to distance himself from the album concept, Urban would hardly be the first in country music to do so. While artists such as Tim McGraw remain committed to that sort of packaging, Blake Shelton has said he doesn't really want to make albums any longer while also admitting that his record label will likely force the issue (and they have, twice).
As with Shelton's "God's Country," "Wild Hearts" is an extreme example of what the Australian singer calls "sport recording." Immediately upon "catching" a song, you "release" it into the wild without all the usual marketing buildup. His manager actually suggested this for the new song, an uptempo reflection on his very first concert and a mission statement for anyone who's ever felt like they didn't belong.
"He goes, 'I think we should just put it out now,'" Urban recalled. "I'm like, 'We literally just put out an album in September,' and he's like 'Yeah, but it feels good.'"
The full interview includes how Urban re-wrote the verses to "Wild Hearts" to suit his story and is available to stream on demand below. Subscribe to Taste of Country Nights On Demand wherever podcasts are found, like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.