Interview: Maren Morris Is Bringing Sexy Back With ‘Girl’
Themes of independence, equality and sexuality mark Maren Morris' second studio album, Girl. The first two concepts come as no surprise if you follow the "Girl" singer on social media or have listened to her debut album Hero (2016) and the songs that came in between projects.
The burning love songs are remarkable in content and packaging. Morris tells Taste of Country that settling into womanhood and being comfortable with her woman body helped shape Girl (March 8). "Make Out With Me" and "RSVP" are two examples. More subtle is "Good Woman," a patient piece of her heart that made husband Ryan Hurd emotional when he heard it for the first time. Here you find the 28-year-old Texan listing the lengths she'd travel to ensure her man's happiness; it's perhaps her most vulnerable and revealing moment to date.
"I'm a serial monogamist — I haven't had a thousand boyfriends," Morris divulges. "I was with one person for five years and that was my first love. As that was falling apart, my career starting taking off."
Songs like "Once" from the Hero album reflect on that relationship, a love and heartbreak she can now look back on and appreciate. It's difficult to ask someone in the middle of a relationship to share their partner with the world, so touring, photoshoots and related responsibilities caused a lot of stress. Hurd, a fellow artist, gets it.
"I do take responsibility for my half of it, but also, I don't want to dim my light for someone else," she says. "I think that's why I love Ryan so much. He — even in my darkest tunnels that I've been through in my life — he has seen nothing but beauty. And he never has tried to water me down. I think sometimes I can be pretty obnoxious, but he, like, loves it."
In making this record, Morris says she whittled down songs to fit a few select themes. The first half is very much about her and where her head is these days. Then she turns up the heat.
"There's this weird thing or complex that maybe some people have once you get married," she says. "You're completely someone else's and you don't get to be sexy anymore." It's simply untrue, and she's making that clear.
“All you gots to bring is loving / Cause I ain’t wearing nothing, nothing you can’t take off me," she beckons during "RSVP." “This floor is waiting for my black dress to fall / Somewhere in the hall / So don’t take too long.”
"The fact that people have this weirdness about me being sexy after that is just so stupid. I don't care if I'm married right now, I'm still a very independent person. That's why he loves me. I'm gonna say it in a song, like, 'I'm gonna make out with you.'"
"I got a bed that's too big without ya / I got a heart that don't beat without ya / Get so jealous when you ain't by my side / I know it's selfish but I need you tonight," she sings during "Make Out With Me," a soulful ballad that quite literally marks the transition between the album's two "sides."
Morris and Hurd will celebrate their one-year anniversary in San Fransisco on March 24, she says. Both are enjoying new personal and professional highs, as Hurd just released his critically-acclaimed song "To a T" to radio. They're both still growing as people and partners, as well. Toward the end of this interview Morris talks about how "Good Woman" was a vulnerable moment for her — one she clearly hopes to build on. It's her professing her love with no obfuscation.
"(Ryan) is so comfortable with saying how much he loves me," she says. "I don't know if it's the Texan in me or what, but it takes a lot of heat to melt this ice."
Watch the full interview above to learn more about Girl, her marriage, previous relationships and the song that's most going to surprise her fans.
See Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd at the Grammys: