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Eric Church Says New Album Coming In February

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Eric Church new album the outsiders

Eric Church (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

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UPDATE: The cover artwork for Eric Church’s album The Outsiders has now been released, see it below.

Two weeks ago Eric Church unveiled “The Outsiders,” a brand-new song that’s the first single from his upcoming fourth studio album.

Today the Nashville Tennessean reports that the song is also the title of Church’s next album, and that the collection is set for release early next year, on Feb. 11, 2014.

Eric Church The Outsiders album cover

(Courtesy EMI Records Nashville)

“We’ve had the ability after every record to feel more emboldened by what we did on the last record,” Church said during a recent interview in Nashville. “And I think with this one, with the success of Chief, we were a little bulletproof.”

Church’s 2011 album Chief has sold 1.5 million copies so far and produced five hit singles, two of which hit No. 1 (“Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen”). This past spring it also won Album of the Year honors during the Academy of Country Music Awards.

“My career, so many times I think my career is going to be pre-Chief and post Chief,” Church said at the time. “That record changed everything for us.”

According to the Tennessean, Church’s new album The Outsiders is again produced by his longtime collaborator Jay Joyce. The album will contain approximately a dozen songs, among them a a recitation of the Shel Silverstein poem “The Devil and Billy Markham” (author and songwriter Silverstein is best known for his book The Giving Tree as well as songs such as “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash), a song called “Roller Coaster Ride,” a handful of love songs and album closer “The Joint,” which is described as showing influence of artists such as Tom Waits and J.J. Cale.

Related: Eric Church Drops Gritty New Song ‘The Outsiders’

Last week on his Facebook page, Church also revealed another video that, like his teaser for “The Outsiders,” appears to be a hint at the musical directions he’s taking with his new album. Titled “Waiting on Me To Cross That Line,” the video features music that’s more subdued (and more acoustically based) than “The Outsiders,” but contains intriguing and somewhat ominous lines like “that’s why my dark side don’t ever see the light of day.” At the end of the video, a whiskey glass is placed onto a table with the words “the good fight” visible underneath. The title of one of the new songs, perhaps?

Church, for his part, appears both excited and nervous at how the new material will be received by his audience. “They’re bold,” Church is quoted as saying of the new recordings. “I’m interested to see what people think about them. I always say the songs are mine till the moment we release them, then they’re the fans’ [songs]. I’m very anxious. I have a lot of anxiety to see what people think about what we’ve done.”

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