Keith Urban has revealed the music video for his newest single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ — a simple, retro-fied treatment that plays into the song’s nostalgic vibe.
The clip features plenty of shots of examples of old-school American life — a soda fountain, retro cars, a tiny town’s Main Street, a little league sign and a laundromat, among others — interspersed with Urban playing and singing the song on a simple, off-white soundstage. Every so often, the background behind Urban changes — and, every so often, Urban’s silhouette becomes animated itself.
“John Cougar references all the sort of sexual tension of teenage angst all of us were growing up in,” songwriter Shane McAnally explains of the song’s lyrics. ”John Deere represents the way that our parents worked and what we saw living in the country, and of course [there’s] the element of religion. And [there’s] irony in John Cougar starting the line and John 3:16 ending the line because that was the push and pull of that teenage thing.”
Throughout the video, Urban is singing into a retro mic and playing bass guitar — a change from his usual instrument of choice. It’s a nod to the fact that, in a mini-documentary about the making of the tune, Urban admits that it wasn’t until he picked up a bass guitar that the song started flowing.
“The first day of recording was interesting,” says Urban, adding that it was “constantly frustrating” trying to figure out how to turn the acoustic-based song he debuted at CRS in February into the more groove-heavy track that it is now.
“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ is the first single from Urban’s forthcoming album, although the singer admits that the project is a “long way from done.”