Country radio stations all over the world received a big, unexpected surprise today: a new Carrie Underwood song. The uptempo “Smoke Break,” penned by the country superstar with longtime collaborators Hillary Lindsey (“Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Two Black Cadillacs”) and Chris DeStefano (“Good Girl,” “Something in the Water”), is what she calls “an anthem for every hard-working person,” with lyrics about escaping life’s many stresses.
“We were writing and kept taking breaks to go outside because we were getting a little stuck on a song we were already working on,” Underwood answers when asked by a fan via Facebook how the song came about. “It was so beautiful outside that we had a hard time focusing, so we decided to write a song about taking breaks! ‘Smoke Break’ seemed like a great title, so we ran with it!”
“Smoke Break” was produced by Jay Joyce, best known for his work with Eric Church and Little Big Town, and marks Underwood’s first time working with the boundary-pushing producer. The song will appear on the Grammy winner’s upcoming fifth studio album, Storyteller, due out October 23rd, as she announced in a video chat today. It’s an appropriate LP title for the singer-songwriter who’s scored platinum sales on songs that very well could be made into movies, such as “My Last Name,” “Before He Cheats” and “Two Black Cadillacs” — the latter of which is indeed being made into a TV mini-series.
Underwood’s name is on the songwriting credits for six tracks on the new project. “I feel like a lot of the songs that I wrote and gravitated to ended up being more traditional and ‘twangy’ than anything I have ever done before. I just went with it!” she writes on Facebook. “I love the story telling aspect of Country music…it’s one of the reasons I always wanted to be a part of it.”