Country music has been going through a reckoning of late, and Maren Morris is here to say she’s done with sides of the genre that she finds toxic.
The Texas-born singer released a duo of new songs and music videos on Friday – titled “The Tree” and “Get The Hell Out Of Here” –under an EP called “The Bridge.”
The songs offer a look into Morris’s feelings on the state of country music today, as she sings in “The Tree” about how she’s “taking an axe to the tree, The rot at the roots is the root of the problem, But you wanna blame it on me, I hung around longer than anyone should.”
The music videos for the two songs share a narrative thread and both take place in a fake and stale-looking community of dollhouse-sized homes and businesses making up a small town that goes through various states of destruction.
There is even a sign identifying the location as a “perfect small town from sunrise to sundown” – seemingly a reference to Jason Aldean’s polarizing song, “Try That in a Small Town,” and Morris’s earlier public dispute with him – as well as other placards including one that says, “Go Woke Go Broke.”
In “Get The Hell Out Of Here,” Morris sings, “I do the best I can, But the more I hang around here, The less I give a damn,” which seems to hint that she is planning an exodus of sorts from the genre of country as a whole.
Other telling lyrics, in “The Tree,” show how Morris is done “screaming the truth to a liar, Spent ten thousand hours trying to fight it with Flowers, When the tree was already on fire.”
In an interview published on Friday, Morris told the LA Times of country music, “I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over. But it’s burning itself down without my help.”
As for what’s next for the Grammy-winner, it just might be something more pop-infused, if her collaborator on “Get The Hell Out Of Here” is any indication. She recorded that track with producer Jack Antonoff, known for creating pop magic with Taylor Swift. Morris and Antonoff are currently working on a new LP, according to the publication.