Eric Church throws fans and country radio a real curveball with his new single, "Desperate Man," but in the best possible way.

The singer-songwriter always likes to mix it up with his material, blending new influences into his existing style to create something new for every new album. He's taken that philosophy to the extreme with "Desperate Man," and country music will be all the better for it.

The lead single and title track to Church's forthcoming new album is unlike anything else Church has ever released, and dramatically different from anything else that's currently at country radio. Over an uptempo track flavored with Indian percussion and a chanted, repeating vocal hook, Church delivers a lyric about a "Desperate Man" who is willing to try just about anything to find his way since his lover left him.

"Hey I'm a half-cocked, full-tilt / Scarred hands to the hilt / Don't push me grown ass man / Yeah flashing light caution / Careful where you cross, son / Till she comes back again," Church sings before launching back into the chorus of "Hey, hey, what can I say / I'm a desperate man."

Church employs some high female backing harmonies and a drop-dead funky feel to evoke the spirit of classic '70s rock and soul on "Desperate Man," and it's tempting to think he may have intended sly references to some of his own rock heroes in the song. The track resembles the feel of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," while the chorus appears to give a nod to Led Zeppelin as Church sings, "Hey, hey, what can I say ..."

The result is a song that's not only an individualistic statement that only an artist as confident as Church could have (or would have?) written and released to country radio, it's also a refreshing reminder of the kind of musical boldness that has made Church stand out from the pack as much as he does. And on top of that, it's just plain fun; give it one listen and see if you don't find yourself unconsciously smiling and nodding along to "Desperate Man" before it even hits the chorus.

Did You Know? Church co-wrote "Desperate Man" with Ray Wylie Hubbard, whom he previously named-checked in "Mr. Misunderstood."

Eric Church's "Desperate Man" Lyrics:

I've seen the Joshua Tree / Got down on my knees / Through the virgin love of a prayer / Walked through glass barefooted / Strolled across the devil's hot coals / I've tried everything, I swear

Chorus:

But hey, hey, what can I say / I'm a desperate man / I said hey, hey, what can I say / I'm just a desperate man

Fortune teller told me / No more last chances / You've got no future at all / Woman, I ain't listening / Black-hearted gypsy / Hang a crucifix to a bedroom wall

Repeat Chorus

"Hey I'm a half-cocked, full-tilt / Scarred hands to the hilt / Don't push me grown ass man / Yeah flashing light caution / Careful where you cross, son / Till she comes back again,"

Repeat Chorus