Maren Morris Quits Country Music Following “Drama” In The Genre: “I’ve Kind Of Said Everything I Can Say”

“The Tree” and “Get The Hell Out Of Here” speak on Morris’ decision to leave the country music genre.

By

Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on September 15, 2023

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Maren Morris; Photo Courtesy of Morgan Foitle

Maren Morris released a new two song project, titled The Bridge, featuring “The Tree,” and “Get The Hell Out Of Here,” and announced her departure from country music on Friday (Sept. 15). 

“The Tree” and “Get The Hell Out Of Here” speak on Morris’ decision to leave the country music genre.

“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 shared in a press release. “Honoring where I’ve been and what I’ve achieved in country music, but also freely moving forward.”

Maren Morris 'The Bridge' EP Artwork
Maren Morris ‘The Bridge’ EP Artwork

“The Tree”

The accompanying music video for “The Tree” finds Morris wandering through a small town as she prepares to cross “The Bridge” out of country music. The clip seemingly alludes to Jason Aldean’s controversial “Try That In A Small Town” with a sign that reads “Welcome to our perfect small town, from sunrise to sundown.” As she continues to make her way toward the bridge, Morris passes by homes and vacant establishments with signs out front that read “Go Woke Go Broke,” “Don’t Tread On Me” and “Lunatic Country Music Person.”

“Get The Hell Out Of Here”

Meanwhile, the video for “Get The Hell Out Of Here,” shows the Texas native watching the fictional town from “The Tree” music video burn town from afar. 

Why Is Maren Morris Leaving Country Music?

Maren Morris further elaborated on her decision to leave country music during an interview with Los Angeles Times, where Morris, 33, admitted she feels “very distanced” from the genre.

“I had to take a step back. The way I grew up was so wrapped in country music, and the way I write songs is very lyrically structured in the Nashville way of doing things. But I think I needed to purposely focus on just making good music and not so much on how we’ll market it,” she told the publication. “The last few records, that’s always been in the back of my mind: Will this work in the country music universe?”

Now signed to Columbia Records, making the move from Columbia Nashville, Morris is going mainstream.

“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” she said of the genre, “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”

Maren Morris; Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Maren Morris; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

Country Music “Drama” Made Her Want To Leave

Morris admitted the “drama” within the country music community is what led her to “step outside out of it.” 

While she admits he never thought of herself as a “political artist,” Morris has been outspoken with her beliefs in recent years and made headlines after calling out country stars such as Morgan Wallen and Jason Aldean as well as Aldean’s wife Brittany.

“After the Trump years, people’s biases were on full display,” Morris said. “It just revealed who people really were and that they were proud to be misogynistic and racist and homophobic and transphobic. All these things were being celebrated, and it was weirdly dovetailing with this hyper-masculine branch of country music. I call it butt rock.”

“I’ve Kind Of Said Everything I Can Say”

After getting tired of “filling a cup with a hole in the bottom,” Morris came to the conclusion that it’s time to move on. 

“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 no longer make me happy.”

Maren Morris; Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Maren Morris; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

“Next Chapter” Of Music Will Go More In The “Rock Direction”

The Bridge is just a taste of what Morris has been working on with producer Jack Antonoff. She previously opened up about her “next chapter” of music with Katie & Company’s Katie Neal at Audacy’s Leading Ladies.

“I mean, it’s thus far pretty confessional and I mean, I feel like it’s a rock realm it’s going into,” Morris said. “I don’t quite know what it is yet. They’re just demos, so I kind of find out when I get in the studio. But yeah, it’s super confessional.”

“I think my last record was super internal and organic, feeling tons of guitars, steel guitar. It felt like very organic country. And this one is going in a more rock direction,” Morris explained. “I don’t know. It’s really fun. I’m excited because it’s just all my influences are getting barfed out on this one.”

CMT Crossroad With Hozier

Maren Morris will soon team up with Hozier for “CMT Crossroads: Hozier & Maren Morris.”  

“Hozier is such a necessary artist to these times. He meets every moment with tenderness, clever wit and a strong moral stance for what is right. I’ve loved becoming friends with him over the years and I truly consider him to be one of the best of our generation,” she shared in a statement. It was so much fun to collaborate again.”

The one-hour special will air on Friday, September 22 at 10p / 9c, with an encore immediate encore at 11p / 10c, and on Saturday, September 23rd at 12p / 11c.

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

See more posts from Andrew Wendowski