photo credit: Harper Smith
Grammy-winning superstar Maren Morris shares a new song, “Background Music,” today—listen here. Written by Maren alongside previous collaborators Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz, the song is taken from Morris’ forthcoming album, Humble Quest, slated for release on March 25 on Sony Music Nashville’s Columbia Nashville imprint—pre-add/pre-save it here.“
I wrote ‘Background Music’ about the beauty of the temporary, which is inevitably all things,” says Maren. “The romanticism of eternity sounds nice, but I like to think I savor things better when I know I’m not entitled to it in perpetuity. It’s a love song that addresses mortality but it’s also promising someone that even when we aren’t cool anymore, I want to grow old with them and laugh about the times we thought we were.”
Additionally, Maren is nominated for Female Artist of the Year at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards.
“Background Music” follows the lead single from Humble Quest, “Circles Around This Town,” which was the most-added track at country radio upon impact—currently Top 30 and climbing on country airplay charts—and broke Amazon Music’s record for most streams for a country song debut by a female artist. Rolling Stone praised the track’s “ambling groove that’s unhurried and bolstered by a grunge-lite guitar riff,” while Billboard lauded the “shiny country-pop exterior and a vocal take by Morris full of wit, personality and savory hooks.”
Maren began writing the songs on Humble Quest at the beginning of the pandemic as a series of major life changes unfolded—new motherhood, an upended career, the death of beloved friend and collaborator Michael Busbee and more, further compounded by lockdown. She felt control over life quickly slipping until she had an epiphany—she was never in control in the first place. This inspired her to reckon with the concept of humility as she thought about how the goal of appearing humble puts artists, especially women, in a box with unrealistic demands. Humble Quest documents Maren’s journey to redefining humility on her own terms as a grounded state of understanding one’s own truth rather than the capacity to appear authentic to others.
Produced by frequent collaborator Greg Kurstin (Adele, Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters) and written alongside her husband Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels, Jimmy Robbins, Natalie Hemby, Laura Veltz, and Jon Green on Busbee’s piano, Humble Quest is Maren’s most genuine collection of songs, tracing her journey to embrace the imperfections in her life through snapshots of her rises and falls, overshares, lullabies, wine-soaked conversations with one old friend and a final goodbye to another one. “Am I humble enough now?” Maren asks herself sometimes. “Maybe. Or maybe I still haven’t found it yet. Or maybe, who cares as long as your friends and, most importantly, you know what your heart is all about? But here’s to taking the quest to find out.”
1. Circles Around This Town
2. The Furthest Thing
3. I Can’t Love You Anymore
4. Humble Quest
5. Background Music
7. Tall Guys
10. Good Friends
11. What Would This World Do