Keith Urban's latest music video, the black-and-white clip for the Grammy-nominated "Raise 'Em Up," applies a mostly bare-bones approach to reflect the song's relatively simple, yet deeply inspirational subject. The fifth single from the country superstar's Fuse LP, "Raise 'Em Up" is a duet with longtime pal, Eric Church. Aside from capturing the two friends singing and playing guitars, much of the action is left to a group of adults and children who jump around, dance, do acrobatics or simply stand in front of an American flag backdrop.
As with most modern dads, Urban often has his cell phone camera trained on his two young daughters, which is where the initial idea for the video was born.
"That’s all that they were doing, just jumping up in the air in slo-mo," the singer recalls of his children with wife Nicole Kidman. "We put 'Raise 'Em Up' on and were watching this film of our girls, and they just went together beautifully. It was so simple and emotional, and it captured some of the spirit of what I feel is at the heart of this song."
"Raise 'Em Up" was penned by Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston and Jeffrey Steele and is something of a rarity for Church, who doesn't often cut songs he hasn't had a hand in writing.
"My first thought was, 'I wish I'd written it,'" Church says. "And I wished that because I feel like we did. If we sat down and wrote a song, it would be that kind of song. It's artistic and has a lot of depth, but it's about something so universal."
"There's a particular theme… particularly in the second verse, that I thought was perfect for Eric," says Urban of his Capitol Nashville labelmate.
Church, who joined his friend onstage at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium last month to perform the tune, says his favorite parts of this video were the shared candid moments. "It's cool that a number of those made it in the final version," he says. "To me, they really reify the emotion of the moment and experience."
Just as Urban did during their Music City performance of the song, the Aussie guitarslinger gives his buddy (who just became a dad for the second time in mid-February), a knowing glance as he sings the lyrics, "You take her by the hand, make a stand, buy some land, make some love. . . and then babies come."
Shot in Nashville last month, the video for "Raise 'Em Up" will have its official premiere Tuesday night (March 31st) on Conan, with Urban also appearing on the show. The Aussie country superstar will reunite with Church next month for the song's first performance on network television during the 50th annual ACM Awards, Sunday, April 19th at 8:00 p.m. ET.