Maren Morris’ highly anticipated third studio album, Humble Quest is out now, March 25th on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the new album below.
For Maren Morris, Humble Quest is more of a journey than a statement. She explores topics of love, motherhood, loss, friendship, and so much more. On the singer-songwriter’s third solo album, she takes listeners on a rollercoaster ride of her last two years as a new mom, a grieving friend, a devoted wife, a woman in country music, and so much more.
Produced by Greg Kurstin and featuring co-writes with Julia Michaels, Jimmy Robbins, Natalie Hemby, Laura Veltz, and more, the new collection finds Morris on a journey to define humility in her own ways. For the Texan chanteuse, the tracks on Humble Quest touch on the different things that ground her. Whether it’s motherhood on “Hummingbird,” friendship on “Good Friends,” love on “Background Music,” or loss on “What Would the World Do?”, there’s no subject off-limits here.
Husband and frequent collaborator, Ryan Hurd, appears throughout the album as a background vocalist, a co-writer, and a muse. “He was my closest and best writing partner during lockdown,” Morris reveals to People. “Writing songs with each other is fun, but it’s not the only thing that ties us together. It’s a bonus.”
Hurd’s influence is heard on songs like “I Can’t Love You Anymore,” “Tall Guys,” and “Background Music.” While the latter is a slow burn of a romantic ballad written with Hurd in mind, Morris shows her clever and sarcastic side on both “Tall Guys” and “I Can’t Love You Anymore.”
“Tall Guys” celebrates men of a certain stature that “keep her looking up// when I’m feeling down.” With her tongue firmly placed in her cheek, she sings that she’s “a lover of all types, but there’s something about tall guys.” Meanwhile, “I Can’t Love You” is a folksy, yet piano-hinted track crafted perfectly by Morris and co. In a clever lyrical twist, the singer-songwriter admits “I can’t love you anymore// Than I do now.” She amusingly laments that she doesn’t know what she did to deserve Hurd, a man so good-looking that it makes her sick. For Morris, Hurd is the “angel to her devil, the pot to her kettle.”
The album’s title track has Morris in search of humility, admitting that she’s “biting my tongue behind a smile // falling on swords that I can’t see // Poison my well on the daily.” She’s on her humble quest, but admits on the ethereal track that she “still hasn’t found it yet” as she toes the line between “fulfilled and full of herself.”
“Hummingbird” is one of the album’s most stunning moments, penned by Morris on the day she found out she was pregnant with her now two-year-old son, Hayes. She admits that the song almost felt meant to be, as she learned of her pregnancy on her way to a co-write with the Love Junkies: Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose.
“The way the world works sometimes blows my mind because I was on my way to write with these three women that I respect so highly, and they’re all working mothers, and they were the first people aside from Ryan that I told that I was pregnant. We ended up writing “Hummingbird” that day,” she shares. “I shed a light on what becoming a mother meant to me before I even met Hayes with that song.”
Morris offers a moment of girl power on “Good Friends,” a tribute to those who keep us grounded and humble in life. “Some folks are fairweather // Some just drift in and out // At my worst or my better // You always stick around,” She sings of those who are always by her side. “We got history // No conditions // You don’t ever have to worry // that I’ll keep you sturdy // ‘Cause we’re good friends.”
Humble Quest ends with the beautifully poignant “What Would This World Do?,” written by Morris, Hurd, and Jon Greene, before the passing of their friend and collaborator, Michael Busbee. The sparse piano ballad is beautifully haunting, a bittersweet song of hope as Morris wonders “What would this world do without you?”
In speaking with the New York Times, Morris admitted that the song was written from a place of hope before his passing, but still felt like an appropriate ending to the album. “I knew that I wanted to end the record with that song, because I hope it’s a respectful way to honor him and what he did for me,” She says. “ I wanted to keep the production super simple. It didn’t need much more than just a piano and vocal. It was our way to honor him and his life and his talent. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to sing that one live, but I’m glad that we put it on the album, because it deserves the end of this chapter.”
While Morris may end the album with “What Would This World Do?” to honor busbee, it’s the type of song that everyone can relate to, as are the collection’s ten other tracks. The singer-songwriter is at her most personal here, and with such depth on the songs, Morris proves why she’s one of the genre’s most acclaimed young artists. Maren Morris may still be on a Humble Quest, but we’re so thankful she’s taking us along her journey.
Humble Quest Tracklist:
- Circles Around This Town
- The Furthest Thing
- I Can’t Love You Anymore
- Humble Quest
- Background Music
- Tall Guys
- Good Friends
- What Would This World Do?
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