Keith Urban remembers the one who got away in his new single, “We Were.”
Penned by Ryan Tyndell, Jeff Hyde and country superstar Eric Church, the nostalgic song is a mid-tempo ballad that features light banjo, acoustic picking and relaxed percussion. Unlike some of the more genre-bending, pop-tinged tracks Urban has released in recent years, “We Were” puts more emphasis on his emotional vocals, while he reminisces over an old flame, recalling moments like wearing “leather jackets on a Harley” and being “two heartbeats in the moonlight.”
It’s that kind of imagery that Urban connected with when he chose to cut the song.
“When I first heard ‘We Were,’ I not only heard it, but saw it,” the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year explained of the reflective song’s picturesque lyrics. “It made me feel something. The imagery is so strong — a stamp on the back of the hand, a Saturday night cover band, the girlfriend (or boyfriend) we ran with and a fake i.d., which of course I never had. So many of us can relate or will relate at some point!”
Even though Urban was drawn to the vivid lyrics of “We Were” upon hearing them, he confessed that he didn’t know Church shared writing credits on it until after the song was recorded.
“It got sent to me, not by Eric, but by someone who finds songs for me,” Urban told Bobby Bones on iHeartRadio’s The Bobby Bones Show. “I didn’t know he was a writer, which was really cool, because it wasn’t until we recorded the song, it was all done, and I found out after the fact.”
“I found out and I called Eric, and I was like, ‘Dude, I just cut this song.’ He was thrilled,” Urban added. “I said, ‘I had no idea that you were a writer on it.’ He said, ‘Well that’s even better because it means you really loved the song.’ I do. I really love the song.”
“We Were” is the lead single from Urban’s yet-to-be-announced forthcoming record, which will serve as the follow up to 2018’s Graffiti U.