In the Studio with Keith Urban: The Heart of the “Same Heart”

How fortunate are we to live in a time when an artist can bring us into the studio in one three-minute tweet? I feel truly blessed, thanks to this one from Keith Urban.

“I realize that a piece of me will always wonder where you are,” Urban posted with a video of the making of “Same Heart,” a song off his 2018 Graffiti U album.

And because he knows so much about the emotions of song writing and the artistry of arranging music, he says things like this:

“What I love about this song and how it came about, with the story being drawn from the music and the repetition of the chords, so that there’s no closure,” he says. “Which is the point of the song. That I can change everything in my life, but I’ve still got the same heart.”

He also describes the literal heartbeat in the song. “In the heartbeat, you can definitely hear general noise — ambient, analog noise — and it really adds to it so much.

“I’m always drawn to that fusion of roboticism or machinery of some sort,” he explains, “and then real instruments playing along with it. I’ve always been drawn to that.”

Urban says in this behind-the-scenes video that most of the songs he’s written in the last 20 years almost always have a drum machine present. It gives him a beat, a groove and a foundation. (Even back in 2006, he told me the same thing about the day he wrote “Better Life” with Richard Marx. “Richard had this cool groove on a drum machine, I grabbed a banjo and we were off to the races. It was a tremendously fluid process and quite frankly, a hell of a lot of fun.” Urban added that the two of them sang gibberish lyrics into a cheap cassette recorder and drove around the Chicago suburbs listening to it. “We cranked it up as loud as it would go, like a couple of kids.”)

Urban co-wrote “Same Heart” with Jason Evigan, Emily Weisband and Jordan Minton. “When the four of us were writing the song, we all very much felt like we knew that place in the song and in the story. The music made us all feel the same,” he said, “and that was a really magical thing.”

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Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.