Brett Young teams up with Lady Antebellum singer Charles Kelley in a new duet recording of the hit “Here Tonight.” The song, which Kelley helped write, was the lead single from Young’s second album Ticket to L.A. and reached Number One on the Country Airplay chart.
Young’s original was a mid-tempo, full-band anthem that fit right in his wheelhouse as country’s current purveyor of dewy-eyed romance. In this new version, it’s stripped to basics: acoustic guitar, piano, cello and a pair of voices. Each performer gets to take a verse, then they come together for two part harmonies in each chorus. The idea and basic melody were actually Kelley’s idea, having jumped into a writing session with Young and his collaborators Justin Ebach and Ben Caver while they were out to write with Young on Lady Antebellum’s tour.
“Charles saw them in catering and he just walked straight up — he was like, ‘Are you guys out here writing? I want to write,'” Young told Rolling Stone last September before the release of Ticket to L.A. “We’re all such big fans we were like, ‘Uh, absolutely.’ He already had the idea for ‘Here Tonight.'”
The trick for Young then became how to insert himself in the song but also how to keep it from being so specific that no one could relate. “I just wanna linger like this on your lips/And taste the salt air on your skin,” he sings at one point, giving it a sense of place but leaving it up to the listener to imagine what that might be.
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“It was clear to me that Charles wasn’t writing for Lady Antebellum — we were writing it for me,” said Young. “And I don’t like this word, but it’s the right word: we wanted to keep it vague. Intentionally vague, not like something was left out. Intentionally vague in a way that if you tell too detailed of a story, not everybody can make it their love story.”
In terms of radio success, it was the right call: “Here Tonight” reached Number One on April 20th, spending a total of two weeks there. Young, who currently has a couple of dates left this weekend supporting Kelsea Ballerini’s Miss Me More Tour, was also recently nominated for a CMT Music Award for his CMT Crossroads performance of “Motownphilly” with Boyz II Men.
Lady Antebellum, meanwhile, have been teasing their upcoming new music. The trio of Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood will release the single “What if I Never Get Over You” on May 17th.
5/17/19 💛 Can't wait to share “What If I Never Get Over You” with everyone. pic.twitter.com/EDaoBbAgRs
— Lady Antebellum (@ladyantebellum) May 10, 2019