Maren Morris and JP Saxe Chase Their Muse in ‘Line By Line’

They sing of a love that's always inspiring.

Written by Chris Parton
Maren Morris and JP Saxe Chase Their Muse in ‘Line By Line’
Maren Morris and JP Saxe; Cover art courtesy of RCA Records

Country star Maren Morris and pop phenom JP Saxe unpack a love that’s too deep to capture in song with the new collab, “Line By Line,” digging into a never-ending well of inspiration.

Calling it “a love song for songs” in an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, the pair trade verses about a muse that can’t be summed up in four chords and three minutes. Featuring a chill-pop sound with ethereal vocals and a spacious groove, they admit they can’t quite put words to the feeling, but promise to keep trying until the end of time.

Speaking in their Apple Music interview, Morris and Saxe said working together was mostly effortless, as they co-wrote “Line By Line” during a two-day write over the summer with Jimmy Robbins. Both share a love of introspection and the power of a song, and they clicked immediately, Morris said — even though she called the pairing “outside her comfort zone.” That was an interesting admission, since she’s crossed over into pop before, most notably on the mega hit “The Middle” with Zedd and Grey in 2018. But this song is a different kind of pop song.

“This is still a very, very new song to even us, the creators of it,” Morris told her host. “But no, it just clicked. And I realized just very instantly once JP that just blurted the line out ‘immortalizing my sincerity,’ I just was like, ‘Okay, I’m working with someone that loves the turn of a phrase, loves the art of a lyric.’ And I was like, ‘Are you sure you’re not from Nashville?’ Because that’s very much what we’re about here. But no, it was so effortless if I could be so bold to say. And I definitely think that us both being in love and in relationships with songwriters, it really felt like something that only we could write, at least this way. And so I love writing songs about songs, but especially a love song about a song.”

Morris went on to say “Line By Line” isn’t the only new music she has in the works, as a whole new album almost ready for recording. She plans to cut the project with Girl co-producer Greg Kurstin (a Grammy winner who previously worked with Adele, Paul McCartney and others), and is enjoying a wealth of creative time with no time restrictions … the silver lining of being forced to cancel her 2021 tour due to Covid-19.

Maren Morris won three awards at this year’s CMA Awards and is nominated for Best Country Song (for “The Bones”) at the upcoming 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Canadian singer JP Saxe broke out in 2019 with the smash collab, “If the World Was Ending” (with Julia Michaels), and the song is likewise up for a Grammy for Song of the Year. His debut album is expected sometime this year.