Maren Morris is gearing up to release her third album, "Humble Quest," on March 25, and she says fans shouldn't expect anything reminiscent of her crossover hit "The Middle."
Instead, she said she feels "very settled in my carved-out place (in) country music."
"Going into this record, I felt like I didn't have anything to prove anymore," she told Bustle.
The postpartum depression Morris experienced after the birth of her son Hayes in 2020 played a part in her creative process.
"I was obsessed with my baby, and I felt so connected to him, but I didn't feel connected to myself," she said, explaining, "Are you OK," are three words that are "so powerful to a new mother."
"Everyone asks about the baby, but we forget about the human that carried it for nine, 10 months," she said.
Morris told Bustle she wrote "a lot of sad, introspective, heavy songs" then found her creative rhythm with her husband Ryan Hurd and producer Greg Kurstin.
"Even though there are serious subjects on ('Humble Quest'), my challenge for myself was to really write the truth, but also not stew in the darkness for too long," she said.
One method that doesn't work for Morris is combining marijuana and songwriting – or almost any other social activity.
"I can't write when I'm high," Morris told Bustle. "I wish I could. It's just the way my brain works. I internalize everything when I'm stoned and not in a fun way for writing. But I definitely have a good relationship with marijuana. I really wish the rest of the country could legalize it, and let's all move on because it's not harmful. It's definitely helpful to me with depression and anxiety. I just use it to chill at the end of the day and go to sleep. I can't go to parties (high) and socialize, but I'm jealous of those who can."
As for who Morris would like to smoke with, she admitted her answer might be surprising.
"I went on this YouTube wormhole the other night for three hours watching Robin Williams clips," she said. "I don't know if he would smoke with me, but I would love to smoke, be around him, and just feel his hilarious energy. I know he was sober, so that's probably a bad example, but I didn't want to give the cliche Willie or Snoop Dogg answers."