"A banjo or fiddle doesn't make a country song. It's the core-cutting truth that does, and I intend to explore it one day or beer at a time."
These words are a fitting summation of Maren Morris' thoughts as she begins working on her second album, which she wrote about Wednesday (April 26) for Lena Dunham and Jeni Konner's online newsletter Lenny Letter.
It's no secret that this past year was astounding and life-changing for the Texas native. She had a No. 1 album, her Saturday Night Live debut and won a Grammy, despite the overwhelming odds against her as a woman in the country music format. However, this level of success presents her with a new challenge: Can she "hold on to those honest roots of country truth-telling" while continuing to reinvent her sound and explore new emotions?
To put it simply, she never wants to lose her edge. The reigning CMA new artist of the year is well versed in the pressure on women in the country music industry to create music that is "down the middle and noncontroversial" while presenting themselves in a way that is "pretty and sexy but not sexual or have desires beyond winning a guy's affections," but that's just never been her style.
Morris writes "unflinchingly honest" songs, such as "Just Another Thing" and "Drunk Girls Don't Cry" from her album Hero. As she moves forward with her next record, she knows that honesty will move forward with her.
"I know that whatever songs do fall out in the writing room (and I just hope they're f***ing good), they will be the purest reflection of myself," she wrote.
And we can't wait to hear every word.