Songwriter's Corner|

By Ben Blanchet, Huff Post | Maren Morris says a lot of the ugliness “on full display” following Donald Trump’s presidency pushed her to leave country music.

“It just revealed who people really were and that they were proud to be misogynistic and racist and homophobic and transphobic,” the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published last week. “All these things were being celebrated, and it was weirdly dovetailing with this hyper-masculine branch of country music. I call it butt rock.”

Morris, who has advocated for Black and LGBTQ artists in the genre, said she plans to part ways with the country music industry because of its failure to become more accessible and to tackle its history of racism and misogyny.
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“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” she told the LA Times. “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”
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Maren Morris burns bridge with country music in incendiary ‘The Tree’ video: ‘It’s so futile. I choose happiness.’

“I give myself permission to face the sun, plant new seeds where it’s safer to grow and realize that sometimes there IS greener grass elsewhere,” the five-time ACM winner stated.

By Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo Music

Maren Morris isn’t just burning a tree in her two new provocative music videos. She’s burning a bridge with Nashville, and walking away from country music.

On Friday, the five-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association winner dropped her double-track EP The Bridge, which marks her move to Columbia Records from the label’s Sony Nashville division. The project features production by pop hitmakers Greg Kurstin (Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Halsey) and Jack Antonoff, who along with his credits for Lorde, St. Vincent, and Lana Del Rey has worked with country-pop-crossover superstar Taylor Swift and on Gaslighter, the most recent album by controversial country disrupters the Chicks.

“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. Honoring where I’ve been and what I’ve achieved in country music, but also freely moving forward,” Morris explained in a statement.

It’s Morris’s video for Kurstin-produced track “The Tree” that shows just how bold that forward move is. The powerful, symbolism-packed clip depicts the singer-songwriter waking up in a decaying, abandoned small town that is decorated with conservative lawn signs declaring “Don’t Tread On Me,” “Go Woke Go Broke,” and “I Believe in God and Guns,” as well as a “From Sunrise to Sundown” welcome sign — a seeming dig at country star Jason Aldean’s recent hit “Try That in a Small Town,” which many critics believed glorified “sundown town” racism and vigilantism.
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[Our Thanks to COMBO’s VP Annette Cannon for sending these articles!]

Photo: Maren Morris | From Columbia Records promo
Maren Morris says she wanted burn country music “to the ground and start over,” but “it’s burning itself down without my help.” (Columbia Records via YouTube)

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