Maren Morris Is Leaving Country Music

“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.”


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

September 15, 2023


4:22 pm

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Maren Morris; Photo by 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.

The Bridge Out Now

Maren Morris - The Bridge
Maren Morris – The Bridge

“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.”

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.”

“The Tree”

YouTube video

“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. 

YouTube video

Felt “Distanced” From 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.”

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

Never Thought Of Herself As A “Political Artist”

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.”

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.”

More New Music On The Way

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.”

YouTube video

CMT Crossroads

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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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.