Everything We Know About Keith Urban’s New Album, ‘The Speed of Now Part 1′
After teasing for a few months that he had something in the works -- and sharing a couple of new songs in the process -- Keith Urban is officially releasing his 11th studio album.
Urban's announcement came on May 8, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as artists and fans alike have been forced to stay home to help halt the spread of the virus. Even though he wasn't able to hold an in-person celebration to share the news, Urban still found a way to make his announcement feel like a celebration: He surprised fans with a quirky, personalized video that began as an update on how he's been spending his time in quarantine.
The clip shows Urban making (a lot) of coffee, going for a drive to get inspiration (and jamming out to "The Chicken Dance" in his car) and waxing philosophical over a blank pad of paper ("Why do they call it a legal pad? If I write something illegal, is it ... nah," he muses).
By the end of the video, though, Urban clued fans into the exciting news he had in store. Read on to learn everything we know so far about the country superstar's forthcoming album.
Urban's new project is called The Speed of Now Part 1. The singer says he came up with the name of the album long before the pandemic reared its head, but it's not lost on him that the title's meaning has shifted as people's perception of time has changed during quarantine.
"In October 2019, this album title came to me," Urban says in his announcement video. "I liked it because I felt like life was flying by so fast. But music, for me, has always been the place where it slows down and doesn't even exist. I would never have imagined that, in 2020, this album title would take on a whole new meaning and yet somehow still feel incredibly relevant."
Aside from including Part 1 in the album title, Urban has made no mention of a future Part 2 of the project.
The Release Date
The Speed of Now Part 1 is set for release on Sept. 18. It's a uniquely challenging time to plan an album rollout, as no one knows for certain when Urban will be able to tour and promote the record in person.
The Record Label
Urban is signed to Capitol Records Nashville, a branch of Universal Music Group.
On previous albums, the singer availed himself of the talents of a wide variety of producers, including mainstay collaborator Dann Huff, Ross Copperman, busbee and many others. He has also co-produced every record he's put out, with the exception of his self-titled debut.
For The Speed of Now Part 1, Urban is listed as executive producer, with Dan McCarroll named as co-executive producer. Each track's production team differs, but Huff, Zach Kale, Jaren Johnston, Joey Moi and more are involved on various songs.
The Album Cover
Urban's The Speed of Now Part 1 album cover is a bright blur of yellow, purple, red and orange. The country superstar appears underneath his name and the album's title, written in block lettering.
Listeners heard the first single from The Speed of Now Part 1 back in February, when Urban debuted "God Whispered Your Name" during Universal Music Group's annual showcase luncheon at the 2020 Country Radio Seminar. Just a week later, he officially released the single.
Ebullient and gospel-inspired, "God Whispered Your Name" is a carefree send-up to the kind of love that can walk into a person's life and suddenly change everything. Urban co-produced the track with Dan McCarroll, and it was written by Chris August, Shy Carter, Micah Carter and James Slater.
"We Were," a 2019 single from Urban, also appears on The Speed of Now Part 1. The song ends the album, both as originally released and as a collaboration with one of its co-writers, fellow country star Eric Church.
Urban followed his latest single's release with the nostalgic "Polaroid," a song that he says takes him back to a "rundown, piece-of-crap house" that he and his band lived in soon after he moved to Nashville. While the digs may have been humble, the memories he made there were sweet.
In the video announcing his next album, Urban hinted at some of the other, as-yet-unreleased tracks on the project. According to Billboard, who premiered the announcement, the clip includes snippets of songs called "Tumbleweed," "Change Your Mind," "Wait" and "Superman."
"Wait" did not make the final tracklist -- Urban has admitted that The Speed of Now Part 1 changed a bit during the pandemic -- but collaborations with pop star Pink ("One Too Many") and rising country rapper Breland and Chic guitarist Nile Rogers ("Out the Cage") are on there. The record contains a total of 16 tracks.
Keith Urban, The Speed of Now Part 1 Tracklist:
1. "Out of the Cage" (feat. Breland and Nile Rogers)
2. "One Too Many" (duet with Pink)
3. "Live With"
5. "Change Your Mind"
7. "Say Something"
8. "Soul Food"
9. "Ain't It Like a Woman"
10. "With You"
12. "God Whispered Your Name"
14. "Better Than I Am"
15. "We Were"
16. "We Were" (feat. Eric Church)
Unsurprisingly, Urban hasn't shared any details about a tour for his new album. Those plans will likely have to wait until after the COVID-19 pandemic is quelled, though Urban has said he's looking into some socially distant concert options.
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