Maren Morris sings about the hustle to make it big in Nashville and references some of her old work in the new song “Circles Around This Town.” Released on Thursday alongside an accompanying video, it’s the first new music to emerge from Morris’ next project after the 2019 album Girl.
“Circles Around This Town” moves along with the kind of ambling groove that’s been a big part of Morris’ sound — unhurried and bolstered by a grunge-lite guitar riff. Morris looks back on her leap of faith to come to Nashville in “a Montero with the AC busted” and pound the pavement to get a break. That break finally came, she sings with “the one about a car and the one about a church” — a nod to her early hits “80s Mercedes” and “My Church.”
In the chorus, Morris touches on the hard work and sacrifice. “I drove circles around this town/Trying to write circles around this town,” she sings. Morris acknowledges that she’s made it, but it turns out things aren’t all that different: “I still got the pedal down.”
The video for “Circles Around This Town” has some echoes of Morris’ carefree drive in “My Church,” but with a retro, mod twist that’s draped in shades of pink. In the intro, a TV ad featuring the voice of Reba McEntire beckons to her: “Hey, little brunette pacing around that kitchen, yeah I’m talking to you.” So Morris finds a new apartment and does doughnuts in an old sedan. Throughout, little messages appear to her: “Get Found” is spelled in her cereal, “Go” on her car’s tag, and a delivery van that says, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” all reminders to dream big and make the most of now.
Morris released Girl in 2019 and its singles included the title track, “To Hell and Back,” and the crossover hit “The Bones.” She is also currently nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song for the single “Better Than We Found It” as well as for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Chasing After You” with her husband Ryan Hurd.