The reflective tune was co-written by Morris alongside her husband, Ryan Hurd, as well as Julia Michaels and Jimmy Robbins, and finds the superstar looking back on her career and her journey to find her place as an artist in Nashville.
Coinciding with the release of the track, Morris shared a 90s-themed music video that brings the lyrics to life through retro aesthetics and a replica of her teenage bedroom.
“Circles Around This Town” is the lead single from the Texas native’s forthcoming third studio album.
Here are a few fun facts about the song and music video.
It’s Her Most Autobiographical Song To Date
“‘Circles Around This Town’ is special because it’s probably the most specifically autobiographical song I’ve ever written,” Morris told New Music Daily on Apple Music 1. ”All the songs that I write are about my story, but this one was very specific to my journey from Texas to Nashville nine years ago to become a songwriter, which then led in to me becoming an artist that I am today, but I wasn’t sure the day that we wrote it if I was willing to get that specific in a song because at the end of the day, you want it to be your story, but you want it to apply to everyone in some way where they can hear themselves in it, but I just decided to go for it, and I felt like that was the smartest thing and the most emotional thing was just even though this song is super upbeat and jangly, it’s really about keeping the gas pedal down on your dreams.”
The Song Was Released Just Days After The Nine-Year Anniversary Of Her Move To Nashville
The release date comes just days after the nine-year anniversary of her move to Nashville, which is perfectly fitting as Morris says the track is specific to her move from Texas to Tennessee.
The Car Mentioned In The First Verse Inspired Her Debut Single
In the opening lines of the track, Morris mentioned a “Montero,” which is referencing her red Mitsubishi Montero sport. During an interview with Taste Of Country in 2016, Morris revealed that long rides in her Montero were the inspiration behind her first chart-topping single, “My Church.”
Morris Nods To Her Breakout Hits Within The Lyrics
Within the track’s lyrics, Morris sings about a “couple hundred songs and the ones that finally worked,” which are “the one about a car and the one about a church.” This is a nod to her hits “‘80s Mercedes” and “My Church,” symbolizing how it all came full circle for her.
Reba McEntire’s Voice Appears In Music Video
As Morris is seen pouring a bowl of cereal in the clip’s opening, Reba McEntire’s voice narrates an infomercial for the Humble Quest Hotline (HQHQ) on a TV in an adjacent room.
“Have you had a crisis? Are you going in circles? Have you cussed on a Sunday? Hey! Little brunette pacing around that kitchen. Yeah, I’m talking to you,” McEntire can be heard saying. ”Get up off your butt and go see what life can be like in humble Nashville, Tennessee. Call our hotline today!”
You Can Actually Call Humble Quest Headquarters (HQHQ)
If fans dial 1-276-63 QUEST (78378), fans will hear a message from Morris that says, “You have reached the Humble Quest Headquarters. Have you an existential crisis? Are you in desperate need of an ego check? Then you’ve come to the right place.”
The message continues as Morris tells fans to text the number to “receive upcoming instructions” as “our HQHQ representatives are on an extended self-care break right now.”
Those who text the number will be subscribed to receive messages and updates from Morris herself.
The Dice Appearing In The Car Are On Sale Now
The dice hanging on the car’s rearview mirror are now for sale in Morris’ official merch store online, which you can purchase HERE.
The Music Video Recreates Morris’ Teenage Bedroom and Includes References To The ‘90s
“I could see the visuals for ‘Circles Around This Town’ the moment I wrote the song,” Maren says. “I’ve always been so inspired by the industrial, blown out colors of music videos from the 90s, so Harper Smith and I wanted the aesthetics of this video to reflect that grainy, devil-may-care attitude of all my females heroes from that era: Sheryl, Fiona, Alanis. Obviously, having a penchant for the nostalgic, we decided to recreate my teenage bedroom and pin old photos of me as a kid on the walls and have me typing on an old PC computer. I knew I didn’t want to take anything too seriously in this video, so all our amplified ‘signs of the universe’ are purposefully campy, but they also ask the viewer, ‘Is the universe actually showing you signs or do you just know when you need to make a real change?’ ‘Circles Around This Town’ is my story, so I felt like I truly got to relive my journey from Texas to Nashville again.”
Additionally, fans will notice in the magazine at the 1:46 minute mark read 1990, which is Morris’ birth year, as well as has lyrics from the song printed in an advertisement.
The Song Broke A Record Upon Its Debut
Upon its release, “Circles Around This Town” broke the record for the most streams by a female artist on Amazon Music for a country song debut.
— The Women of Country (@TheWomenCountry) January 8, 2022
The Music Video Contains Several Subliminal Messages
Throughout the music video motivational quotes appear, inspiring Morris to keep going.
Some of the quotes that appear include: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” “If you are lost, get found,” “Go,” and “Let That Sh!t go.”
Maren Morris invented motivational quotes ✨💅💭 pic.twitter.com/wquKoFEa67
— allie loves maren (@marenshero) January 7, 2022
She First Played The Song For Her Best Friend
In an interview with iHeartRadio, Morris revealed that her best friend
“The first person I played this song for was my best friend, and she could careless if I’m a failure or successful,” Morris shared. “She loved how autobiographical it was, because it reminded her of when we were schlepping it out and sharing a crappy house together.
— iHeartCountry (@iHeartCountry) January 7, 2022