Morris shares two new songs as she moves more towards pop
Today (Fri, Sept 15th), Maren Morris released her two-song project The Bridge as she focuses on finishing her third studio album with mega-producer Jack Antonoff. With the songs, Morris says she’s pivoting from the genre as she moves from Sony’s Columbia Nashville imprint to Columbia Records.
“These two songs are incredibly key to my next step because they express a very righteously angry and liberating phase of my life these last couple of years, but also how my navigation is finally pointing towards the future, whatever that may be or sound like,” Morris says in a press release. “Honoring where I’ve been and what I’ve achieved in country music, but also freely moving forward.”
The superstar elaborated on her decision with the Los Angeles Times, stating she’s felt betrayed by the genre that she grew up loving.
“These songs are obviously the result of that — the aftermath of walking away from something that was really important to you and the betrayal that you felt very righteously,” she says. “But also knowing there’s a thread of hope as you get to the other side. I hope it comes across that way because I truly was in a space of hope when I wrote the two songs, even though ‘Get the Hell Out of Here’ is really heavy. It’s about disarming that trauma and saying, ‘I can’t bail water out of this sinking ship anymore. It’s so futile. I choose happiness.'”
Morris says she’s tried to distance herself from the genre since “people’s biases were on full display” in the years following former President Donald Trump’s leaving office, making reference to Morgan Wallen’s success following the use of the N-word and her very public feud with conservative country star Jason Aldean and his wife Brittany.
“[T]he stories going on within country music right now, I’ve tried to avoid a lot of it all costs. I feel very, very distanced from it,” she says. “I just wrote songs about real life through a lens of deep respect for my country heroes. But the further you get into the country music business, that’s when you start to see the cracks. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it. So you start doing everything you can with the little power you have to make things better.”
She continues, “I’ve kind of said everything I can say. I always thought I’d have to do middle fingers in the air jumping out of an airplane, but I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that longer make me happy.”
Morris’ announcement may not come as much of a surprise as she told the LA Times last year that she didn’t “feel comfortable” attending the 2022 CMA Awards following her feud with the Aldeans.
“I’m very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now,” she said at the time. “So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go. But as of right now, I don’t feel comfortable going.”
Morris did ultimately attend the show but skipped the red carpet.
The Bridge isn’t Morris’ first foray outside of country music. In recent years, she’s teamed with Zedd, Taylor Swift, Niall Horan, Hozier, and Marcus Mumford. However, she’s also collaborated with Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett and her husband Ryan Hurd for country songs.