Eric Church steals more music than a college kid on Napster in the new music video for “Desperate Man.” But Church is doing it the old-fashioned way: swiping the master tapes and hitting the road in a cinematic heist.
With camera shots and scenes that evoke such crime capers as Goodfellas and, especially, Breaking Bad, the clip, directed by Church’s manager John Peets and Reid Long, opens with Church anxiously sitting behind the wheel of a getaway car, waiting for his thieves to return with the goods. Meanwhile, his partner in the plan – Ray Wylie Hubbard, the co-writer of “Desperate Man” – is surreptitiously acquiring 55-gallon drums of vinyl pellets, just the right consistency to be melted down, pressed into records and airdropped to fans.
It’s a cool premise, reinforcing Church’s image as a country artist for the people, one who operates outside of any record-label laws. In a humorous jab, the armed agents in pursuit of the bandits wear jackets with EMI – Church’s record label – stamped on the back.
“Desperate Man” is the first single and title track of Church’s upcoming album, due October 5th. In an interview for an upcoming Rolling Stone feature, Church said the funky song was inspired by soul music.
“Not soul in the way that too many people are doing it now, where they got too many horns. It wasn’t trying to manufacture soul,” he says. “We listen to [soul music] a lot just sitting around the house. If you said what’s your go-to, it would be soul. It would be Otis Redding, it would be Aretha, it would be James Brown.”
[Reporting by Josh Eells.]