Maren Morris Tackles Gender Barriers In Country Music

Maren Morris’s music is rocketing her to stardom, but that doesn’t mean all is swanky for female country artists.

The “My Church” singer says there are still expectations from female country singers to only write songs about certain things. “You either have to sing about being scorned by a lover or sing about thinking a boy is cute and wanting him to notice you. That’s about as edgy as you can get,” she explains in this week’s Lenny Letter.

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To combat this, the Grammy winner intends to break down barriers with her debut album, “Hero”. The song “80s Mercedes”, for example, is an anthem for women who want to have some fun with no regrets. “There are the aesthetic pressures for a woman to be pretty and sexy, but not sexual or have desires beyond winning a guy’s affections,” she writes.

Morris, 27, considers the success of “Hero” to be a testament to the slowly changing perception of women in country. “As a new artist and as a female, it felt like a gigantic stomp in the pavement,” she says. “Things were starting to change for the better, not just for female artists, but for all artists who care about being themselves even if it means sounding different from the commercial status quo.”

“I felt the embrace and support from my fellow country artists, colleagues, and even the upper echelon of label heads and radio program directors. I was validated in that moment, and I will never forget it.”

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The singer also writes about her upcoming follow-up album. “I’m about to start writing for my sophomore album, which is exciting and extremely daunting because there’s the looming aspect of the proverbial ‘sophomore slump.'”

“I know that whatever songs do fall out in the writing room (and I just hope they’re f***ing good), they will be the purest reflection of myself,” she confesses. “A banjo or fiddle doesn’t make a country song, it’s the core-cutting truth that does, and I intend to explore it one day or beer at a time.”

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