Evan Paul hosts Taste of Country Nights, On Demand, a weekly country music interview podcast that focuses on the music. Follow wherever podcasts are found, like Apple Podcasts and Spotify and leave a rating and review. ​​​​​​​​​​​This show is part of the Townsquare Media On Demand network. 

Maren Morris says the album that holds "Circles Around This Town" is finished, and she's sharing details about what it will sound like.

The just-announced Humble Quest album was introduced last week with a biographical country track that features less pop influence than many from the CMA Award-winning Girl album. Fans can expect more like it.

“It’s a lot country-er on an instrumental level," Morris tells Taste of Country Nights, "And rootsy-er than my last record which was very pop heavy. It’s a really hopeful record."

The "My Church" hitmaker went back to her roots for "Circles Around This Town," a song that recalls early Nashville struggles as a songwriter before she figured out she was meant to record the songs she was pitching to others in town. Even though she had a publishing deal, Morris was far from "making it" for at least two years.

"There was just not a ton of traction," she shares during a Zoom call with Taste of Country Nights. "I would get songs put on hold all the time, but they would never fully get to record mode. I remember thinking, ‘Maybe it wasn’t for me.’”

As her new lyrics indicate, "My Church" and "'80s Mercedes" were her breakthrough songs. Both involve cars as a creative sanctuary, a theme she returns to for this latest track (No. 25 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart). Specifically, she mentions the Mitsubishi Montero that got her from Texas to Nashville.

"Eventually I leveled up and I got, like, a Prius," she quips with no longing for that old beater of a car.

Other details shared by Morris during her conversation with Evan Paul include a note that there won't be any duets on this album, but there are plenty of great songwriting collaborations. Additionally, she says lot of the album is from her point of view, however, and ...

“It’s coming out, soon. I will say that."

"Soon" ended up meaning March 25, per her Instagram page.

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at staff@tasteofcountry.com.

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