Maren Morris released her new two-song EP (extended play), The Bridge, on Friday; both of which contain lyrics explaining her decision to leave country music behind.
“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” Morris, 33, said during the conversation about her roots in country music. “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”
The Arlington, Texas, native, who has called Nashville home for about a decade, has taken a stand over the years, calling for more diversity within the music genre, beyond the white male heterosexual artists who have dominated the industry.
“But the stories that are going around in country music right now, I’ve tried to avoid a lot of them at all costs,” she explained, before admitting that she herself has benefited from the dominant system in place. “I feel very, very far away from it.”
She’s done! Maren Morris, 33, announced she is leaving the country music genre behind as she promotes her new two-song EP, The Bridge; she is pictured in May 2023
In another example of how seriously she’s taking a break from the genre and its politics, the Look At Us Now star’s new music is now being released via Columbia Records, rather than the label’s Nashville division, Columbia Nashville .
Her two new songs – The Tree and Get The Hell Out Of Here, written back-to-back, mark the beginning of this new professional chapter for Morris which she has decided to call The Bridge.
“If you really like this kind of music and you start to see problems arise, then there needs to be criticism,” she said. Everything that is so popular needs to be scrutinized if we want to see progress. But I basically said everything I could say.”
Morris has been outspoken about her progressive beliefs and has long been a supporter of LGBTQ+ issues and the Black Lives Matter movement, while criticizing people like Jason Aldean’s wife Brittany Kerr Aldean for making transphobic comments.
“I have always been a questioner and a status quo challenger, simply because I am a woman. So it wasn’t even a choice,” Morris said. “The further you get into the country music world, you start to see the cracks. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it.”
Morris has also wondered what’s behind the popularity of songs like Aldean’s hit single Try That In A Small Town, which some people interpret as a pro-violent, conservative message.
“People are streaming these songs out of spite,” she said. ‘It’s not out of real joy or love for the music. It’s owning the libs (liberals). And that is not what music is intended for. Music is supposed to be the voice of the oppressed – the actual oppressed. And now it’s being used as a truly poisonous weapon in culture wars.”
You could argue that Morris’s new music video for The Tree references Aldean’s Try That In A Small Town. The clip shows her walking out of a small town past signs that read “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Go Woke Go Broke.”
Morris makeover: Morris’ new EP The Bridge can be interpreted as the bridge to her new studio album, which she is currently working on with prolific pop producer Jack Antonoff
Morris’ The Bridge EP can also be interpreted as the bridge to her next studio album, which she is currently working on with prolific pop producer Jack Antonoff, who is best known for his work with Taylor Swift, and Lorde, Lana Del Rey. , St. Vincent, The Chicks, Florence And The Machine and The 1975, among others.
So far, Morris hasn’t revealed whether the new songs will undergo a massive transformation into a slick pop music sound.
Either way, the mother of one, whom she shares with husband and country singer Ryan Hurd, has had to take a long look at how she crafts her songs.
“The way I grew up was so wrapped up in country music, and the way I write songs is very lyrically structured in the Nashville way of doing things,” she confessed. “But I think I had to purposefully focus on making good music and not so much on how we market it. The last few records I’ve always had in the back of my mind, ‘Will this work in the country music universe?’
Country Criticism: “The further you get into the country music world, you start to see the cracks. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it,” the Arlington, Texas, resident said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times
Morris further revealed that the new album is not ready yet and that she still has some more writing and recording to do.
“It’s so much fun,” she said of the creation process, before adding, “And I feel like my old self again in this space of writing songs that I love with people I love.”
During her country music career, Morris has released three studio albums: Hero (2016), Girl (2019) and Humble Quest (2022).
She has scored three number one songs on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and eight top ten songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Morris has won multiple awards, including one Grammy Award, five Academy of Country Music Awards, one American Music Award and five Country Music Association Awards.