Review: Maren Morris’ Self-Titled EP

Maren Morris has been on the scene for a while now; in 2013 Morris signed with Big Yellow Dog Music and has had cuts including Tim McGraw’s “Last Turn Home” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Second Wind.” Morris has also been working on her own material and playing shows in and around Nashville for the past few years. Expectations were high when Morris announced yesterday on her Twitter that she’d be releasing a five track self-titled EP and we certainly weren’t disappointed.

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The EP kicks off with earlier release “My Church,” which represents a different generation of badass females; not like Carrie or Miranda, it’s more of a quiet rebellion against traditionalism in country music. Morris makes references to the likes of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash as her ‘soul revival,’ a feeling to which all music enthusiasts can probably relate. It’s a well delivered concept that probably couldn’t be pulled off by some of the more country pop artists.

“Drunk Girls Don’t Cry” is one of the most well written tracks on the EP, and brilliantly witty. There’s nothing worse than that friend that just won’t break up with their awful boyfriend, and Morris cleverly fits the typical excuses into a hilariously honest angle on girl talk. “You say he saw the light, the slate is clean, swears up and down that he’s gonna be different this time / that’s like saying drunk girls don’t cry,” Morris sings, managing to be relatable with such individuality, in a way that huge artists do.

Another standout track is “Company You Keep,” which fits cohesively among the rest of the tracks. It’s written again with that relatable angle on friends and relationships, and is an endearing concept about how it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters who you’re doing it with. “Don’t matter what we do, anything with you sounds fun to me, it’s all about the company you keep” Morris sings, with some comical lines thrown in like, “buy you a shot then hold back you hair, take you to Waffle House.” It’s the perfect display of down-to-earth and universal.

The subject matter isn’t your typical love/heartbreak songs, which is always a positive given that you can turn on the radio and hear an identical streak of songs. Morris provides such a positive and refreshing new direction for country music and this EP is sure to land her firmly on the map. Find the EP out on Spotify now.

Highlights: “80’s Mercedes,” “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry,” “Company You Keep”

five stars

Rating: 5/5