Yesterday, March 21, Keith Urban released his second track from his highly-anticipated, upcoming album, GRAFFITI U. “Coming Home" is a collaboration that reflects the diversity of Urban's expansive musical knowledge, with a sample of Merle Haggard's famous song, “Mama Tried," and a feature from current GRAMMY-nominated pop artist, Julia Michaels. Watch the lyric video below:
In a press release, Urban explains the process of writing the song: “'Coming Home' started with an idea I had of using the intro of one of my favorite Haggard songs 'Mama Tried' - to build an entirely new song around it. Then, I took the idea to J.R. Rotem and he put some chords around it. I jotted down the first words that the music made me feel, jumped on a mic and sang the chorus."
Urban continues, “Hearing that rolling Haggard guitar lick sparked memories of my childhood - and my dream to come to America. I knew right then the story (of the song) was about the struggles of being in a city where your dreams have brought you, but far from your home – wherever, whomever and whatever that is for each of us."
Michaels was the perfect addition to the songwriting team: “Julia's writing contribution extended into the idea of the need to want to physically be home. She summed up the whole story in one sentence. 'Yeah, I know it's only one call away, but it's not the same.' For me, that simple phrase said so much, especially when she sang it!"
For those of you wondering, Urban made sure to get the blessing of the Haggard family to use the guitar riff in his song. He shares the story of the phone call, saying, “I called Theresa Haggard and Ben Haggard to play them what we'd been working on. It was important to me to have their blessing- and I'm so grateful that they love the song."
Perhaps our favorite thing about the song is the easter-egg clue Urban provided on Instagram last week. With a simple quote of a lyric from the song as the caption, Urban photographed a banjo atop Haggard's Mama Tried vinyl and Michael's Nervous System. Before the song was released, it would be nearly impossible to put together this clue into the song. Now, it's our favorite activity to pull out these hints Urban is sprinkling throughout this album release.
The song was written by Urban, J.R. Rotem, Julia Michaels, Merle Haggard and Nicolle Galyon. Urban and Rotem co-produced the track.