“This song is all about a kid having a dream, chasing it, working hard and eventually fulfilling it.”
Orange-native luminary James Keith has thrown some fresh fuel in the hype train for his upcoming debut album, Life Is Good Today, with a soaring new single called No Hero – and it’s premiering right here, right now, exclusively on Countrytown.
“This song is all about a kid having a dream, chasing it, working hard and eventually fulfilling it,” Keith said of his new tune in a press statement. “All he wants is to feel the heat from those Neon signs in Nashville, singing to a sea of stars and playing live on stage, taking the crowd on the journey with him. He wants you to feel alive with him while he’s onstage singing his songs.”
Keith himself went through that very journey: originally a rugby league player (and the premiership-winning captain/coach of the Belrose Eagles in Sydney Shield), the fast-rising country star learned to play guitar in his cozy regional NSW hometown, before embarking on a life-changing adventure that led him to Music City.
He co-wrote No Hero with longtime friend Kyle Pearce. Its release has been a long time coming, he added in his breakdown of the track, noting, “This was one of Kyle’s songs I heard back in 2010. We were sitting at a Matchbox Twenty concert in the Hunter Valley and as soon as I heard the start I immediately fell in love with that riff.”
So the story goes, Keith originally kept the song in Pearce’s hands, but when it came time to start chipping away on the tracklist for Life Is Good Today, he simply couldn’t look past No Hero. “I showed [Pearce] a revision of the song with a brand new chorus, bridge, solo and outro, and he loved it,” Keith added.
Keith recorded the song with his band at Dotted Eight Studios in Orange, working closely with producer Craig Honeysett. From there, it was sent off to Nashville for tech wizard Billy Decker to work his magic in mixing and mastering. He said of the recording process: “I started acoustically then brought it to my band I have been playing with for years. Immediately the drums gave the song another dimension. That and the bass was all done in one session.”
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Accompanying the release of No Hero is a heart-stirring music video helmed by David Smyth. It follows Keith as a child and teenager chasing his dream, with the former played by his own son Finny, and the latter by Smyth’s nephew. “It follows the journey of a young boy playing in his room dreaming of being on stage, looking at his inspiration on his bedroom wall, to playing on stage to adoring fans,” Keith said of the narrative behind the clip.
On his experience working with Smyth’s nephew, Keith added: “Before I had even had the chance to meet him and his mum, Therese, he already had all the words down pack, a level of commitment I admired. When I did meet him, he actually looked like a younger me – freckles, brown hair, blue eyes – so he was a great fit.”
No Hero arrives as our third preview of Life Is Good Today, following the release of the title track last October, and Say I Do (Part 1) back in February. The album itself is yet to receive a concrete release date, but we know it’s set to land sometime before the year’s end. In the meantime, you can check No Hero out below, and keep up to date with Keith on his Facebook page here.