ToC Critic’s Pick: Maren Morris, ‘My Church’ [Listen]
Maren Morris doesn’t give you the option to sing along. When her debut single “My Church” gets to the chorus, it’s a vocal exorcism. Like it or not, the words come pouring out.
Almost lost is the notion that at its core, the newcomer’s introduction is a good old-fashioned, driving around song. Her church is her car. Her preacher is whomever is singing on the radio. That idea will need to translate through an unconventional, untested country soundscape. She’s a mix of Amy Winehouse, Little Big Town and pulp fiction. Beautiful images and ideas swirl around lo-fi instrumentation.
“Can I get a Hallelujah / Can I get an amen / Feels like the holy ghost rolling through ya / When I play the Highway FM / I find my soul revival, singing every single verse / Yeah, I guess that’s my church,” Morris sings at every chorus.
Some will want to compare Morris to Kacey Musgraves because they have similar physical features, and a strong sense of self. More information is needed to make that leap, but like Musgraves, Morris grabs you by the scruff early. The 25-year-old is clever with her references and nods to the legends during a well-written second verse:
“When Hank brings the sermon / And Cash leads the choir / It gets my cold cold heart burning / Hotter than a ring of fire / When this wonderful world gets heavy and I need to find my escape / I just keep the wheels rolling, radio scrollin’ 'til my sins wash away.”
A little sweetness seeps through during this soulful, blues-influenced jam. It’s not clear if the song will be released to terrestrial radio stations, but it’s already making waves at satellite radio and streaming sites, where her full EP can be found.
Key Lyrics: "I find my soul revival, singing every single verse / Yeah, I guess that’s my church."
Did You Know?: Fans of this song will enjoy "Drunk Girls Don't Cry" on the Maren Morris EP. It's a little saltier, and very honest.
Listen to Maren Morris, “My Church”
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