Keith Urban is the latest country singer to contribute to Spotify Singles, the streaming service’s program that asks an artist to perform a cover song of their choice. In Urban’s case, it’s “Happier,” the dance hit by producer Marshmello and the U.K. band Bastille.
While the original is a more upbeat affair, Urban recasts “Happier” as a woozy piano ballad, imbuing the song with a palpable melancholy that belies its title. It’s a particularly vocal-forward performance from Urban, who emphasizes each lyric as if it were his own.
“The first time I heard ‘Happier’ it spoke to me lyrically. Underneath that badass track there’s an incredible story of emotional conflict being told,” Urban said in a statement. “ I could really relate to it and so I set about trying to frame that in my own way.”
The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year also performs one of his songs for his Spotify Singles session, offering a rollicking take on his Graffiti U track “Never Comin’ Down.”
It’s been a busy week for Urban, who attended Sunday’s Golden Globes with wife Nicole Kidman before heading to Santa Clara, California, to perform at the college football National Championship game. Later this month he’ll launch an overseas tour beginning in Australia.
Urban isn’t the only country artist to acquaint himself with Marshmello. Kane Brown and the producer tweeted in November that they have a collaborative track due sometime this year.