After three long, album-less years, Carrie Underwood is coming back to reclaim her Country Queen throne.
On Thursday (Aug. 20), Underwood announced her upcoming fifth studio album, the follow-up to 2012’s Blown Away, as well as the LP’s first single.
In a video posted to her Facebook page, she revealed the album is titled Storyteller and will drop Friday, Oct. 23. She also unveiled the sepia-toned cover art for “Smoke Break,” which shows the 32-year-old looking, well, smokin’ in a sultry corset.
“The song itself is just kind of one of those story songs that I fell like everybody can relate to about how life is so hectic,” she said of the new song. “And it’s so nice when — if and when — you actually get to kind of step away for a second. We all need that time to ourselves to get to take a break.”
Underwood also took part in a fun Q&A with fans during which she revealed a ton of juicy tidbits about Storyteller, including that she co-wrote six of the album’s 13 tracks. Here are seven other things we learned:
“Smoke Break” was created out of good old writer’s block.
"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,” she told one fan. “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!"
There won’t be any duets on the album, but there WILL be collaborations of sorts.
“No duets, but I have a few very talented people who helped out with their beautiful voices in a background kind of way!” she shared.
She recorded one song for her son, Isaiah, whom she welcomed with husband Mike Fisher in February.
“Just one...I tried to avoid the 'mommy' songs, but one managed to find its way in there!” she said. “I'm glad it did, because he'll always have that!”
It sounds like she’ll debut the new single live next week.
“Well, the MN crowd next weekend might get a special surprise!” Carrie answered a fan who asked when she’ll sing “Smoke Break” live.
The album does have a theme.
“It does. Of course, there are lots of ‘story’ type songs, but the album as a whole definitely has a 'feel' to it...it's a bit hard to describe while typing...I guess you'll just have to hear it and find your own way to describe the theme,” she teased.
Even 10 years after “American Idol,” she still gets nervous before performing.
“I do...STILL!!! I've been waiting for the day that my knees don't shake, but I guess if I'm nervous, it means I care, right?!”
Storyteller has a very literal inspiration.
“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,” she shared. “I just went with it! I love the story telling aspect of Country music...it's one of the reasons I always wanted to be a part of it.”
This album MIGHT be her favorite she’s done so far.
“Right now it is!” she admitted. “I feel like each album represents a time in my life, so it would be hard to pick one album or song or video, etc as my absolute all-time favorite, but this album is really amazing, if I may say so myself!”