Keith Urban Drops Brand-New Single, ‘Female’ [LISTEN]
Keith Urban has released a powerful new single, called "Female." Although it's sung by a man, the song is a reflection on the biases that women face, with a respectful, uplifting chorus.
"When you hear somebody say somebody hits like a girl / How does that hit you? / Is that such a bad thing?" Urban sings in the first verse of "Female." "When you hear a song that they play saying you run the world / Do you believe it? / Will you live to see it?"
The second verse of "Female" also questions how our culture treats women, addressing rape culture ("When somebody laughs and implies that she asked for it just 'cause she was wearin' a skirt / Aw, is that how that works?") and those who believe women are inferior to men ("When somebody talks about 'It was Adam first', does that make you second best / Or did He save the best for last?"). The lines are striking, especially surrounded by the song's chorus.
"Sister, shoulder, daughter, lover / Healer, broken halo, mother / Nature, fire, suit of armor / Soul survivor, holy water," Urban sings in the chorus of "Female." "Secret keeper, fortune teller / Virgin Mary, scarlet letter / Technicoclor, river wild / Baby girl, woman child / Female."
Shane McAnally, Nicolle Galyon and Ross Copperman co-wrote "Female;" Urban, Copperman and Dann Huff produced the track. In an Instagram post, Galyon confirms that she contributed background vocals. The rumor that Nicole Kidman also sings background vocals on the track has not been confirmed.
Urban first dropped a hint about his new song on Oct. 30: That day, he shared on Instagram a black-and-white photo of a recording studio microphone, along with a date: "11.8.17." Then, on Monday (Nov. 6), Urban shared a clip showing the singer in the studio and featuring the mellow, guitar-driven melody of "Female." The same date appears at the end; at the beginning is one word: "Female."
Urban has been in the studio in recent months: In July, the singer shared on social media a photo of a recording studio control board as well as a box of Oblique Strategies cards; created by musician Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in the 1970s, the cards challenge artists to create using prompts such as "Work at a different speed" and "What would your closest friend do?"
Urban last released a new album, Ripcord, in May of 2016; he's spent the months since promoting the project and releasing hit singles from the record. Urban's most recent single from the disc is “The Fighter,” a call-and-response-style duet featuring Carrie Underwood. Although the two have performed the song live together a number of times, Urban has also found unique ways to fill in Underwood’s parts when he’s alone.
Urban spent the latter half of 2016 out on the road for his Ripcord World Tour, with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris as his special guests; he also toured in Australia and New Zealand near the end of 2016, with Underwood.
Whenever Urban releases his next record, it will be his 10th solo studio album.
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