Maren Morris on Songwriting with a Buzz

Tequila Washed Away the Filters

You wouldn’t know it to hear the song, but when Maren Morris wrote “I Could Use a Love Song,” she’d had some drinks.

“I had never written a song having a little buzz before. I had always been sober writing, but you know, having that little tequila just got rid of our filters, and it allowed us to be straight from the heart, which is hard to do,” Morris told Billboard Country Update about the songwriting session.

Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz wrote part of the song at Losers Bar & Grill, right near Music Row.

“It’s just about trying to remain optimistic (regarding) a very complicated subject, when you’re single and you want to be cynical and fighting through that, trying to hold the belief that love is not this foreign, cheesy concept,” she said.

What she wanted for the song, she said, was for it to be vulnerable and heartbreaking. And what she didn’t want was for it to turn into some kind of a soaring anthem-type ballad.

So what is Morris’ definition of a Really Good Love Song?

“A really good love song is that reminder that it’s not unattainable to fall in love again and it’s not cliché, or it’s not going to be like the last time. Sometimes you just have to hear a good love song to remind you it’s still a possibility,” she said.

And when she sings it now — even though she and boyfriend singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd are not having a heartbreak moment — she tries to maintain the pain of the story.

“To retain that pain and vulnerability, but then also have hope that comes at the very end, I had to get into a certain head space where I could try to replicate the head space I was in the day that we wrote it,” she said.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.