Eric Church Releases Surprise Album 'Mr. Misunderstood'

Ten-track record mysteriously arrives in the mailboxes of the singer-songwriter's fan club

'Mr. Misunderstood,' Eric Church's unannounced follow-up to 'The Outsiders,' was released to his fan club this week. Credit: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

Members of Eric Church's fan club the Church Choir were treated to a surprise yesterday afternoon, when copies of Mr. Misunderstood — a new studio album from the Chief himself, with unfussy production by Outsiders producer Jay Joyce — arrived in their mailboxes. Unannounced and thoroughly unexpected, the record appears to be the official follow-up to Church's best-selling 2014 album, The Outsiders, although Church has yet to announce any plans to release it to proper retailers. In fact, Church hasn't formally acknowledged Mr. Misunderstood's existence at all. 

Thus far, his record label is also keeping a tight lid on the album's material. YouTube footage featuring audio from Mr. Misunderstood has already been blocked, and no tracks have shown up on digital platforms like Spotify. Church did perform one of the record's 10 songs, "Three Year Old," during his July 30th solo show at Nashville's Ascend Amphitheater, introducing the track as a tribute to the lessons he's been taught by his oldest son, Boone McCoy. A fan-shot video of the July performance shows Church strumming a hollow-body guitar, rattling off bits of toddler wisdom like "Nothing turns a day around like licking a mixing bowl" and Why go inside when you can go behind a tree?" 

According to members of the Church Choir, Mr. Misunderstood has been delivered in vinyl, CD and digital formats. Although he's apparently keeping mum about the project on social media, Church will hit the CMA Awards stage tonight, kicking off the annual show alongside Hank Williams Jr.

Here's the tracklist for Eric Church's Mr. Misunderstood:
1. Mr. Misunderstood
2. Mistress Named Music
3. Chattanooga Lucy
4. Mixed Drinks About Feelings
5. Knives of New Orleans
6. Round Here Buzz
7. Kill a Word
8. Holdin' My Own
9. Record Year
10. Three Year Old