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Sometimes making an album is a labor of love, but Eric Church admits crafting his new disc, Desperate Man — out today — was one of the hardest things he’s ever done.

At the time, he’d just wrapped up his creatively satisfying but exhausting Holdin’ My Own Tour, and, he explains, “The biggest fear I had was I didn’t just want to go back in the studio and make a record just because it was time to make a record.”

“And I had some stuff going on,” he adds, referring to the undiagnosed birth defect that led to the blood clot which threatened his life.

“I had a personal thing with my health, and then…Vegas happened, and that will be with me forever,” he continues, referring to last year’s massacre at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

“So, I think that there was some stuff I had to process on the early part of recording this record. It frankly made it difficult…It was the toughest record I’ve ever, made out of all of them.”

It’s no wonder Eric decided to call the album Desperate Man.

“I think that desperation of trying to find what this album is led itself to that song and led it to [be] the title of the album,” he explains.

But it was three other songs — “The Snake,” “Hippie Radio,” and “Higher Wire” — which he feels “really made the record happen.”

“Those were three of the early ones,” Eric recalls, “that took us from ‘We are on this path,’ and then we went to this path.”

“There’s something pretty magical about those three tracks,” he adds. “For me, that was the key that unlocked Desperate Man.”

Eric feels the album stands with 2015’s Mr. Misunderstood as one of the most creative projects he’s ever made.

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