Keith Urban will release his new studio album, The Speed of Now Part 1, on Sept. 18. The four-time Grammy winner announced the release in a clever clip exclusively via Billboard today (May 8).
The video opens with an unseen person asking Urban what he’s been up to. “What have I been up to? A bit of recording, a whole lot of making coffee,” Urban answers from his studio.
As the reigning ACM Awards entertainer of the year seemingly brews and ingests copious amounts of coffee, he ruminates on how coffee can be really inspiring, and how it often leads to questioning other things. “Why do they call it a legal pad?,” he asks. “If you write something illegal, nah…”
Searching for an album title, he wastes time in the video like the rest of us — lying on the sofa, scrolling through his phone, watching tv, mourning the end of Game of Thrones, even driving along to “The Chicken Dance” — until he reveals that the album title came to him last October at a time when the world was very different from today.
“I liked it because I felt like life was flying by so fast. Faster and faster all the time. 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 incredible relevant.”
The video then flips to Urban recording the album in a full studio — clearly in the time before social distancing — as quick snippets of new songs play: the upbeat “Tumbleweed,” sweet ballad “Change Your Mind,” the yearning “Wait,” and the jubilant “Superman,” which features the lyrics, “We were Johnny and June in a ring of fire.”
Also heard is a clip of the nostalgic “Polaroid,” which he released two weeks ago. The album’s first single, “We Were,” reached No. 4 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, while current single,“God Whispered Your Name,” stands at No. 14.
Despite the intriguing title, Urban gives no hint as to whether there will be The Speed of Now Part 2.
The album, Urban’s 11th studio album, follows the CMA album of the year nominee, Graffiti U. The 2018 release included three Top 20 Country Airplay hits: “Female, “ “Coming Home,” and “Never Comin’ Down.” The release date comes two days after the rescheduled date of the 55th Annual ACM Awards, which he is hosting.
Check out the announcement below.