Piercing through today’s pop-influenced hits on country radio is the classic sound of 26-year-old Maren Morris. Hero, Morris’ debut major-label album, was released earlier this month and boasts 11 exemplary tracks, all of which were co-written by Maren herself. Morris had already established her credibility as a songwriter in Nashville before deciding to pursue her singing career wholeheartedly, and her love for music and writing is evident in the lyrics of the single “My Church.” The song is a testament to the power of a good country song—she compares the thrill of driving around with the radio on to the kind of spiritual experience traditionally experienced in a church.
Another highlight of the album is the ballad “I Could Use a Love Song.” On this track, Morris’ voice is both soft and strong, both vulnerable and brave, as she asks for a song that will lessen her cynicism about falling in love. Her longing for good music makes the song practically a prequel to “My Church.” These two songs begin to display how well every track on this album complements the others, forming a true album rather than a collection of singles.
Keep an ear out this summer for “80s Mercedes,” Morris’ next radio single. She has managed to make the song both catchy and soulful, and the live version below is even better. Hero has a crucial balance of emotional ballads and fun, lighthearted tracks, but Morris’ depth as a writer, vocalist, and artist stays consistent as the album plays through. If you’re interested in authentic storytelling through classic country music with a modern viewpoint, Maren Morris is the perfect choice for your new music this Monday. You can buy or stream Maren Morris’ album Hero and catch her opening up for Keith Urban now!