From pop up stage act to main stage star in just one year, Maren Morris is quite the fire cracker and certainly a force to be reckoned with. With a career that most can only dream of even over years, Maren has proven to be one of the most gifted and exciting artists of our generation. Her debut album Hero having so much success that it earned Maren four Grammy nominations at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. The album was nominated for Best Country Album, “My Church” won Best Country Solo Performance and was nominated for Best Country Song. Morris was also nominated for the all-genre honor of Best New Artist.
In 2016 Maren Morris was known to few when she was announced to be on the Satellite Stage at C2C Festival in London. Already having heard her EP, I remember being beyond excited and had no doubt in my mind that this girl was going to take the music industry by storm.
With a unique sound, Maren has a blend of many genres, not just country and deserves to be recognised as not just a country singer, but a mainstream artist too. Maren could quite easily fit alongside artists such as Adele, Beyonce, Rihanna and more if the mainstream radio would only play her. I have every faith that in the UK, if she got Radio 1 airtime, she would be a number one selling artist in no time.
Having also seen Maren on her first ever UK headline show at The Borderline in London, Maren proved to be quite the entertainer with a huge soulful voice. This year, Maren was invited back to join the CMA Songwriters Series line up with Drake White, Mac McAnally, Kristian Bush and Liz Rose. Given Maren’s new found and highly deserved popularity, to see her in such an intimate setting and as part of a songwriters round was something that was likely never to happen again. The great thing about a songwriters round is that you not only get to hear stripped back, acoustic versions of an artists songs but you get a story behind the song and a little insight to the artists personality in a relaxing setting amongst friends.
As well as The Songwriters, Maren was on the main stage in the O2 Arena on the Sunday just after Brothers Osborne. Now if you read my review of Brothers Osborne then you will remember that I said they were a tough act to follow. That being said, Maren fitted in perfectly with the Sunday line up and was the right choice of artists to play straight after such a great duo.
Strutting on stage and oozing with confidence, Maren went straight into the song Sugar and immediately possessed a lot of bad ass attitude and sass as she owned the stage. Maren dazzled as she sang her heart out with her soulful, edgy vocals that projected across the O2 Arena in impressive form. Singing one of my favourites Drunk Girls Don’t Cry next, Maren injected confidence into the crowd as they all stood up and sang along. Her slick performance of 80’s Mercedes brought a real energetic force to the arena as she pranced around the stage with swagger. With 80’s Mercedes being one of two songs she sang on The Satellite Stage last year, Maren goes from Cool-headed to mushy and teary as she proclaims her gratitude to the audience for even knowing who she was last year, let alone singing every word back to her.
This follows on with a short story about how her album was pretty much done but when asked if there was anything missing she responded with “ I Could Use A Love Song” and thus the song was created. I Could Use A Love Song is a beautiful soulful ballad with one of the most infectious chorus’ I have ever heard without being catchy. This song translated beautifully in a live setting creating a truly stunning sound that echoed throughout the arena.
Maren continued strutting her stuff with her incredible and wicked cool persona giving us steller performances of some of her best loved hits including previously unreleased but fan favourite Bumming Cigarettes before taking us to church with her epic, stunning, flawless and seemingly effortless performance of My Church. Before she started My Church she again refers to her first UK trip and how hearing everyone sing back to her back then, will remain one of her best memories ever.
Maren makes it look so easy. Her voice is outstanding and like no one else’s. Maren ends the set with a song previously recorded by Kelly Clarkson but written and recorded by Maren Morris for her debut album Hero Second Wind, mashed up with Beyoncé’s Halo. This mash up was the perfect ending to a mind blowing performance. Maren means business when she performs and she was there to put her stamp on the O2 stage and she certainly achieved that. I felt like she should have done a dramatic mic drop as she left the stage as there was most definitely a moment as she walked off which would have fitted so perfectly to do so.
Maren is a phenomenal performer with real attitude, sass and allure, she commands her stage with such confidence and power and delivers a groundbreaking, show stopping set.
Maren is back in the Autumn for a headline tour and I highly recommend you catch a show. Take the opportunity to see her in intimate venues before she starts selling out the O2 on her own.
Hero (Deluxe Edition) by Maren Morris
Drunk Girls Don’t Cry
I Could Use a Love Song
How It’s Done
Just Another Thing
I Wish I Was