Carrie Underwood delivered her own bright and bubbly song of the summer with "Southbound" — the new single of her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty. The fun-in-the-sun music video for the single was released on Friday and features an array of summer tropes and sentiments.
Directed by Jeff Venable, the video mixes scenes of Underwood having backyard fun with her friends and family with performance footage from her Cry Pretty Tour 360. Underwood's husband, Mile Fisher, also appears in the video, along with tour openers Maddie & Tae and Runaway June. Underwood's 4-year-old son Isaiah also makes a cameo appearance.
Underwood wrote "Southbound" with David Garcia and Josh Miller in the hopes of crafting the perfect party songs for women.
“I don’t know if there was one specific line that was the hardest to write, but there was a song called ‘Southbound,’ that was kind of surprisingly hard to write for being just a fun light song," Underwood told CMT.com in September 2018. "But because it was a fun party song it was interesting just to write it not from some [guy] singing it. It’s a lot easier to write a party song if you’re a guy.”
The song features a character named Katie, who is always "dancing on the dock/and it's only two o'clock," according to the song.
“It’s a party song about being at the lake, having a great time, and people are drinking redneck margaritas,” Underwood explained. “I’m not going to be like, ‘cutoff jeans,’ you know what I mean? There are certain lyrics that it’s like guys can get away with, and it’s easier. We had to spend a little more writing this fun song.”
"Southbound" is the opening song for Underwood's tour setlist. She also performed the song at CMA Fest Friday night, following "Last Name" and "Church Bells."
The big surprise of the night was Underwood bringing out Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett for a medley of "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Bad Reputation," "Crimson and Clover," "Fresh Start" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."
Before the show, Underwood said she had long dreamed of performing with her idol, but never found the right time until now.
"I feel like we've kind of had connections and bumped into each other in various places, and the stars just aligned and, it was like 'What if Joan Jett came to CMA Fest? Well, let's ask her!'" Underwood told PopCulture.com Friday. "So she's here. The coolness has arrived, and I'm hoping some of it rubs off on me at least."
Underwood said she is a big fan of Jett, calling her a "trailblazer."
"The more I got to know and see just how much of a trailblazer she was for not just women in her genre of music, but women in music in general, I mean I'm a fan on every level," Underwood continued. "Personally, professionally, musically. (It's) an honor that she has heard my name before and agreed to come sing with me."
Underwood's Cry Pretty tour resumes on June 10 in Ottawa. She will be performing at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Sept. 27.
Photo credit: Getty Images