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Maren Morris Moves Forward From Toxicity, Burnout In Two-Part Story

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Maren Morris released two new tracks on Friday (September 15) that collectively tell a story. The Bridge, featuring “The Tree” and “Get the Hell Out of Here,” made its debut with accompanying music videos.

Morris first announced The Bridge earlier this week, sharing that the two-track collection “honors where I’ve been and but also feels like a forward step into the sun.” The Texas native, who said she’s spent the year working “nonstop” on her next record, said she “realized these two songs deserved a moment on their own - a story in their own right, written a day apart from each other - a tender duo and bridge to my next album.”

Morris expanded on the stories behind each song as she shared them and premiered their hand-in-hand music videos, directed by Jason Lester, on Friday. “The Tree” and “Get the Hell Out of Here” set the scene of a deserted small down, focusing on the town’s welcoming sign — “welcome to our perfect small town, from sunrise to sundown” — the water tower - reading, “fill the well” — yard signs, closing businesses and more. The end of the video shows Morris leaving the town as the tree at its center burns.

“I wrote this on the 10 year anniversary of my moving to Nashville,” Morris said of “The Tree.” “It’s about a toxic ‘family tree’ burning itself to the ground. Halfway through, I realize it’s burning itself down without any of my help. This song evokes the pain of exhausting all your love and time for this person or ‘entity’ but realizing it’s just a draining, transactional relationship that isn’t nourishing in any healthy way. By the end of the song, 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.

“This is the aftermath of the tree burning.” Morris continued, sharing the story of “Get the Hell Out of Here.” “Being quite literally burned out, this is a story of me feeling pulled in every direction, needing everyone else’s understanding and acceptance but my own and how self-destructive that ultimately became. I relinquish control of trying to change everyone’s mind or bad faith behavior and focus on my own power going forward. Doing the right thing can feel lonely at times, but there are more friends than foes, so I finally quit making myself one of them.”

Morris shared in a Q&A with the Los Angeles Times that she feels “very, very distanced” from the country music genre, particularly amid its ongoing culture wars. She said in the interview that she “had to take a step back. …Obviously, being one of the few women that had any success on country radio, everything you do is looked at under a microscope. You’re scrutinized more than your male peers, even when you’re doing well. So I’ve had to clear all of that out of my head this year and just write songs. A lot of the drama within the community, I’ve chosen to step outside out of it.”

Morris’ next album will follow Humble Quest, the 11-track project that released in March 2022. Humble Quest included the autobiographical “Circles Around This Town,” “I Can’t Love You Anymore,” “Good Friends” and other highlights. Morris delivered stunning performances of several of the tracks on Humble Quest: In Rare Form in November 2022. Watch the powerhouse singer-songwriter’s newest music videos below.

“The Tree”