In 2015, Eric Church took the country music community by surprise when he released his fifth studio album, Mr. Misunderstooddirectly to his fan club, the Church Choir, without hype, interviews or announcements. It's been over two years since that album was released, but on July 12, Church announced via livestream that he has plans to share his sixth studio release, Desperate Man, in October.

While Desperate Man will not be released exactly the same way that Mr. Misunderstood was -- since he made an announcement about its upcoming release, of course, it won't be a surprise -- Church says he still plans to make sure that members of the Church Choir still get to hear new music first. "Just like last time, just like Mr. Misunderstood, if you're in the Church Choir, on Oct. 5, you're gonna get the album," he explained during his livestream announcement.

Until new music arrives, read on to learn everything we know so far about Desperate Man, and to get the latest updates on Church's upcoming seventh album.

The Title

Church has announced that the title of his upcoming studio album is Desperate Man. The album shares its name with Church's first single off of the project.

The Release Date

Desperate Man is slotted for release on Oct. 5, 2018.

The Record Label

The new album will be released via EMI Nashville. Church's three previous studio releases have all been with that label.

The Album Cover

EMI Nashville

The album's cover art features the top of what appears to be a large metal or steel structure, with a lightly cloudy blue sky and a bird in flight as a backdrop. The image also features Church's name, along with the title of the record.

The Producer

Desperate Man was produced by Jay Joyce. Church and Joyce have a long history of collaborating on Church's studio albums, including his most recent album, Mr. Misunderstood.

The Single

On July 12 Church announced in his livestream that not only was his album on the way, but that its title track would be released as a single on July 13; however, members of his Church Choir fan club could listen to the new song immediately. Due to demand, "Desperate Man" was then shipped to country radio early, at noon CT on July 12.

Bluesy and anthemic, "Desperate Man" was co-written by Texas outlaw singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard. The song is the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" meets his own "Chattanooga Lucy."

"Fortune teller told me / 'No more last chances / You've got no future at all' / Oh, but I ain't listenin' / Black-hearted gypsy," Church sings in the second verse of "Desperate Man." The chorus is swampy and pure Southern rock, but simple: "But, hey, what can I say? / I'm a desperate man / I said hey, what can I say? / I'm just a desperate man."

The "Desperate Man" music video features Church as a musical fugitive, on the run from his record label as he's trying to get his music out to fans.

The Songs

When he announced Desperate Man, Church quietly revealed its track listing on his pre-order page. The record will feature 11 songs, but the country star admits in a new interview that inspiration for the project didn't come easily at first.

Church tells Rolling Stone that October's Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas affected his creative process, putting him in a funk and blocking him up creatively. The singer had performed at the festival earlier in the weekend, before the tragedy on Oct. 1.

“I was a little lost for a while. I think, like a lot of people, I was in a little bit of a funk after something like that,” Church says. “I was still a little burned out. A little bit going through the motions. I think that’s part of what happened when I first went into the studio, is I still wasn’t quite ready to get there."

That's exactly the climate out of which "Desperate Man" came, though. The star says he wrote the song in the studio: "I got a little bit desperate in there to just find an album," Church says, "because it was not f--king happening.”

Eric Church, Desperate Man Track Listing:

1. "The Snake"
2. "Hangin' Around"
3. "Heart Like a Wheel"
4. "Some of It"
5. "Monsters"
6. "Hippie Radio"
7. "Higher Wire"
8. "Desperate Man"
9. "Solid"
10. "Jukebox and a Bar"
11. "Drowning Man"

The Tour

In 2019, Church will begin his Double Down Tour in support of Desperate Man. The tour will stop in 18 cities for two nights each, plus one stadium show in Nashville.

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