Courtesy of Max Vadukul
Keith Urban Courtesy of Max Vadukul
Devastating floods hit Nashville last May. Parts of the city were swamped; famous spots, including the Grand Ole Opry and the SoundCheck music storage building were flooded. Exquisite instruments owned by world-famous country musician Keith Urban were also destroyed.
But 24 hours later, with only one instrument salvaged from the natural disaster, Urban was in the studio to begin recording his latest album, Get Closer. He says his instrumental limitations inspired more spontaneity in his music.
"It certainly took me out of my comfort zone," Urban says. "There's something quite liberating about it, too. ... Not having all my instruments to reach for was creatively liberating. It allowed everything to be spontaneous and fresh."
Aside from the floods, Urban has experienced many life-altering events that have had a profound impact on his music — a few of which include his recovery from drug addiction, his marriage to actress Nicole Kidman and the birth of their daughter, Sunday Rose. Urban says that meeting his wife was probably the biggest turning point in his life.
"Life opened up when I met [Kidman]," he says. "The first year in our marriage, particularly, we went through a lot of things."
Urban was in rehab for the first three or four months of their marriage and eventually emerged from his battle with drug addiction. With his newfound sobriety, he says "everything feels different. It's like a new color was added to a rainbow."
The Spontaneity Of Singing
Though Urban says he never intended his new album to have a theme, he notes that the spontaneity of singing and songwriting inspired by the floods spawned songs about relationships, family and love.
He says his revelation came in the moment he fell in love with his wife — that getting closer to her and embracing his love for her changed his perspective. Written by Urban and Darrell Brown, "Right Back on to You" echoes these sentiments, while serving as the centerpiece of the album.
"It's that image of a guy having some sort of altercation with his girl and he gets in the car ... and drives off in the distance," Urban says. "He pulls over to the side of the road. ... He's saying to himself, 'Why do I always run? And it's not because I don't love this person. It's actually because I love them so much. ...' It's in that moment of realization that it's the fear of the love, not the lack of it, that has him turn around and go back to get even closer with her."