See Carrie Underwood's Smoldering 'Smoke Break' Video - Rolling Stone
×
Country Flag
Home Music Country Music

See Carrie Underwood’s Smoldering ‘Smoke Break’ Video

Country superstar hits the Mojave Desert to pay homage to hard working people in need of a breather

Carrie Underwood’s upcoming fifth studio album is called Storyteller, and the video for its lead single casts her in the role of one — albeit one who walks through the Mojave Desert in slow-mo, looking sizzling hot in fringed boots and denim shorts the size of a postage stamp.  It’s the country music equivalent of Bo Derek running through the surf in the movie, 10 — although more incredible because it’s been a mere six months since the seven-time Grammy-winner gave birth to her first child.

Written by Underwood with frequent collaborators Hillary Lindsey and Chris DeStefano, “Smoke Break” is an ode to hard-working folks who can use a respite, even if it doesn’t involve tobacco.  The Randee St. Nicholas-helmed video begins with Underwood driving through the dusty, sepia-washed desert in a vintage Ford truck, with only the radio and her guitar as companions. She passes a busy waitress in a diner, and a first-generation businessman struggling with his responsibilities. Then her truck overheats, and she has to hoof it, while a patient horse trainer and weary welder toil nearby. 

Underwood hitchhikes the rest of the way to her gig at a neighborhood bar (picked up by a friendly female, of course).  She takes the stage in front of a small crowd of patrons that includes — surprise! — all the local characters we met earlier who were working hard and could use a break.  She sings their life story, then moves on to the next dusty town. . . like an angel of mercy in Daisy Dukes.

Popular on Rolling Stone

The video is a fitting accompaniment to the sultry song, which features Underwood putting a bit more twang in her vocals than usual — a welcome dose of laid-back country cool after a string of glossy, high-octane arena rockers and soaring ballads. This is the Underwood many fans have been waiting for — thanks to production by Jay Joyce, whose raw edge has defined the recent work of Eric Church and Little Big Town.  

Released as a single last Thursday, “Smoke Break” has already broken the record for the highest number of single-week adds in the history of the trade publication, Country Aircheck. Storyteller is scheduled for release on October 23rd, just before Underwood’s eighth turn co-hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley.

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.