Mainstream country music is a singles-driven business, with occasional outliers like Kacey Musgraves and Steve Earle making coherent statements through their albums. Add social media accessibility and the 24-hour news cycle, and it might be more rewarding than ever for major label acts to focus on releasing a song or two at a time.

Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts and Sheryl Crow have recently teased a singles-only mindset, and now Keith Urban, the defending CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year, sounds interested in abandoning the album format, too -- at least for now.

"(I'm) definitely working on new material all the time. Writing, recording — it'll be awhile, but hopefully, I'll be able to keep putting new music out. Doesn't have to be a whole record, just new music, steady," Urban told Taste of Country's Billy Dukes. "I think that just new music is the thing that we want as artists, as well as the audience."

Urban's singles since the 2018 release of Graffiti U may serve as the template for simply recording and releasing songs with little to no thought given to a forthcoming album cycle.

"Everything is just a song-by-song basis," he says. "I mean, 'Burden' preceded that, which is nothing like 'We Were.' ... That’s an example of a song I loved, wanted to record and we just put it out. “We Were,” I loved it, we put it out and radio seemed to like it. I just make music and find where it lives."

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