Morris made a splash with her 2016 album Hero, featuring the hits ‘My Church,’ ‘Rich’ and ’80s Mercedes’ but had her first major success with the track ‘The Middle,’ a cut by the DJ Zedd that featured her on lead vocals. That song hit #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #1 on the pop chart.
Maren Morris is having a moment. The Nashville singer is coming off of the top five smash ‘The Middle’ (with producer/DJ Zedd) and just dropped ‘GIRL,’ her second full-length album to high sales and critical acclaim.
I didn’t spend a lot of time with Morris’ debut album, Hero, though I liked it well enough. I’m enjoying Girl a lot more.
Lots has happened since then, including the departure of key band member Rostam Batmanglij and a relationship between frontman Ezra Koenig and one of my celebrity girlfriends, Rashida Jones, which resulted in the birth of their first child last summer.
‘The Middle’ doesn’t exactly sound like a country/dance crossover. In fact, it was recorded by a laundry list of well-known performers before reaching Morris. Everybody from Tove Lo to Camila Cabello, Carly Rae Jepsen to Demi Lovato.
The 26 year-old Morris is a new-school country performer in the vein of Kacey Musgraves, with a modern sensibility and a love of pop and hip-hop that reveals itself in between the bars of her otherwise traditional country tunes. She also has a penchant for profanity, about which a New York Times reviewer wrote that “she’s breaking what may be country’s last remaining taboo.” You mean Johnny Cash never dropped an f-bomb?