Why Carrie Underwood’s ‘Smoke Break’ Video Is Actually a Breath of Fresh Air

Screengrab via YouTube

Carrie Underwood is back from maternity leave and in the video for her latest single, “Smoke Break”, the country queen is proving she’s coming back stronger than ever.

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In the edgy video, directed by Randee St. Nicholas, Underwood struts around the Mojave Desert, singing the anthem of working class people who just need a little breather. Donning knee-high fringed boots and cut-off denim shorts, the seven-time Grammy-winning artist walks, and even hitchhikes, from town to town, telling stories of the hard-working people who live there. The video culminates as the country star reaches her final destination, playing a show at a honky-tonk in the middle of nowhere.

The anthemic and sultry tune is the first single from Underwood’s forthcoming album, Storyteller. With this new project, due Oct. 23, the former American Idol is taking on an edgier and twangier sound. Underwood teamed up with Jay Joyce, the producer who has helped shape the cutting-edge sounds of other major country acts, like Little Big Town and Eric Church.

“Smoke Break” is the breath of fresh air fans have been waiting for. Underwood strays from her typical ballads, arena rock tunes and “I’m gonna kill you if you cheat on me” songs with this new, fresh sound that pays homage to traditional country roots.

Since its release Aug. 21, “Smoke Break” has broken Country Aircheck‘s record for the highest number of single-week radio adds.

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Why Carrie Underwood’s ‘Smoke Break’ Video Is Actually a Breath of Fresh Air