Keith Urban released his genre defying album Graffiti U in April and the album includes a versatile list of collaborators with songs penned by Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels and Shy Carter, among others. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Urban says Sheeran is one of his favorite songwriters.
Sheeran penned “Parallel Line,” a striking love ballad that showcases Urban’s vocal talent and the songwriter’s prowess at creating a song that strikes a chord with the listener.
“Ed is one of the really few guys who will put his heart on his sleeve,” Urban says. “He has no problem in being vulnerable. The fears that us guys have about getting our heart broken by somebody, we never talk about that. That’s what I love so much about Ed, his willingness to be honest.”
Urban also praises Michaels, who serves as his duet partner on “Coming Home.” She penned four songs on the project, including the sultry “Gemini” about the singer’s wife, Nicole Kidman. As Urban recalls, Michaels and co-writer Justin Trantor asked him about Kidman while they were writing the song.
“I told them more about my wife and I said, ‘She is Gemini, but she’s not a contradiction. She can roll with things.’ And there was the opening line right there. It was quite therapeutic to get it all out,” he admits.
It was Michaels idea to sing the line, “She’s a maniac in the bed / But a brainiac in her head.”
“My first reaction was, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I’d say that.’ And she goes, ‘You pretty much just did,'” he recalls. “Again, it’s really one of the things I love about the way she writes. It’s unfiltered. It’s pure. It’s truth. It was such a playful song, that in the context of that kind of song, which is super sexy to begin with, it just went together for me.”