Just as Maren Morris released the two-track EP, The Bridge, which features new songs Get The Hell Out Of Here and The Tree, the American singer-songwriter has revealed that she’s ready to leave country music.
Explaining her nuanced feelings towards the genre she loves in song form, she details in The Tree, “The rot at the roots is the root of the problem / But you want to blame it on me,” while on Get The Hell Out Of Here, Morris is mournful, singing: “I hung around longer than anyone should / You’ve broken my heart more than anyone could.”
While the songs are telling, Morris told the Los Angeles Times in a new interview that the sociopolitical divide amongst country music artists and its fans has become a miserable hurdle that began “after the Trump years”.
According to Morris, the years leading up to and during Donald Trump’s presidency “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.”
She added, “I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over. But it’s burning itself down without my help.”
While Morris never classified herself as a political songwriter but rather one who observes the goings-on around her, her position as an advocate for LGBTQIA+ people and artists of colour has made her one.
“The further you get into the country music business, that’s when you start to see the cracks,” she said. “And once you see it, you can’t unsee it. So you start doing everything you can with the little power you have to make things better. That doesn’t make you popular.”
Morris continued to tell the publication that if you love country music and witness issues arising, you have a responsibility to speak up. “Anything this popular should be scrutinised if we want to see progress,” she explained. “I’m trying to mature here and realise I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy.”
Choosing happiness and unravelling her complex feelings, Morris told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t want to have an adversarial relationship to country music. I still find myself weirdly wanting to protect it. But it’s not a family member. That’s the fucked-up part, is that I’m talking about it as if it’s a person, but it’s not.”
Morris said about her The Bridge EP in a press release:
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. Honouring where I’ve been and what I’ve achieved in country music, but also freely moving forward.
You can watch the music videos for The Tree and Get The Hell Out Of Here below.