Grammy winner Maren Morris unveils the autobiographical “Circles Around This Town” as her new country single today (January 7), proclaiming the upbeat seeker’s anthem “my story in a song.”
Written by Morris and husband Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels and Jimmy Robbins the track cruises in as an open-road roots rocker full of nostalgia and a harmony-soaked refrain, all about the quest to find greater meaning. The track was produced by Greg Kurstin and marks the first taste of an upcoming album project — which will follow up her CMA Album of the Year, Girl, plus the birth of her a son named Hayes — and it seems to find Morris reflecting on her journey.
As a crisp beat pushes forward, the track lays out Morris’ arrival in Nashville and struggle to find success, which finally happened with a couple of songs she wrote “driving circles around this town” — “one about a car and one about a church.”
Meanwhile, a retro-themed video recreates Morris’ childhood bedroom and finds her driving an old car around a parking lot, and also includes a series of “signs from the universe” calling her to seek out her destiny. In an Instagram post for the clip, Morris credits Reba McEntire, who appears as “the voice in my head” as the video begins.
“I could see the visuals for ‘Circles Around This Town’ the moment I wrote the song,” Morris says. “I’ve always been so inspired by the industrial, blown out colors of music videos from the ’90s, so [director] Harper Smith and I wanted the aesthetics of this video to reflect that grainy, devil-may-care attitude of all my females heroes from that era: Sheryl, Fiona, Alanis.
“Obviously, having a penchant for the nostalgic, we decided to recreate my teenage bedroom and pin old photos of me as a kid on the walls and have me typing on an old PC computer,” Morris goes on. “I knew I didn’t want to take anything too seriously in this video, so all our amplified ‘signs of the universe’ are purposefully campy, but they also ask the viewer, ‘Is the universe actually showing you signs or do you just know when you need to make a real change?’ ‘Circles Around This Town’ is my story, so I felt like I truly got to relive my journey from Texas to Nashville again.”
“I drove circles around this town / Trying to write circles around this town / Trying to say something with meaning, something worth singing about / I’ve been kind and I’ve been ruthless / Yeah, I got here but the truth is / Thought when I hit it, it’d all look different / But I still got the pedal down / I still get lost, I still get found / Driving circles around this town,” goes the chorus.
“Circles Around This Town” follows Morris’ Number One husband-and-wife duet with Ryan Hurd on “Chasing After You,” which was just nominated for the Grammy award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. She is also up for Best Country Song for “Better Than We Found It” at the January 31 ceremony, and in announcing her new single, cryptically revealed that “more new music is imminent.”