Young penned the driving “Here Tonight,” which gets some beefed up drums and a rock-anthem feel on Today, with Ben Caver, Justin Ebach and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley. Young was on tour with Lady A through much of 2017 and began bringing fellow songwriters on the road in anticipation of recording his second album. Early in the trek, he ended up creating his lead single with Kelley’s help.
“[Charles] just walked up, he was like, are you guys out here writing? I want to write,” Young told Rolling Stone Country before the album was released. “We’re all such big fans we were like, ‘Uh, absolutely.’ He basically had the idea and the tag melody at the end of the chorus. When I come into something where a lot of the idea is already there, I just need to figure out how to make it work for me. Because it was clear to me that Charles wasn’t writing for Lady Antebellum — we were writing it for me.”
In attempting to make the song work for him, Young was also trying to make it work for a large cross section of people.
“We wanted to keep it vague. Intentionally vague in a way that if you tell too detailed of a story, not everybody can make it their love story,” he added. “It’s the first time we’ve sent pure tempo to radio. It already sonically feels good, [so] I want to make sure everybody connects their love life, their romantic life to this song. It’s hard to do that sometimes, but the three of them are incredible writers. They did a great job of getting it there.”
On the same episode of Today, during which longtime host Kathie Lee Gifford announced her retirement, performed the title track fromTicket to L.A. In 2019, he’ll hit the road with Kelsea Ballerini’s Miss Me More Tour.