Five years ago on Thursday, Maren Morris released her debut album, Hero. With a track list that includes songs like “80s Mercedes,” “I Could Use a Love Song, “Rich” and her breakout single, “My Church,” the project launched Maren into mainstream country stardom.
On a new Essential Album special with Kelleigh Bannen, Maren reflects on the lasting impact of Hero and how her late producer, Busbee, influenced the music. In fact, as the album’s fifth anniversary neared, Maren says she listened to the collection for the first time since Busbee’s death in September of 2019.
“It was weirdly emotional,” the singer admits. “I guess it dawned on me, that I hadn’t really allowed myself to listen to that album since before Busbee died, and probably for good reason, because it’s…I mean, he’s just so embedded in every tom sound, every kick drum, every bass note is him playing.”
But when she listened back to the album recently, the floodgates opened. “Yeah, I was just bawling in my car yesterday,” Maren says.
The experience also gave her some much-needed perspective as she continues to work on her third album.
“It was like a really weird, necessary therapy session yesterday,” she added, explaining that getting back in touch with her debut project reminds her of who she wants to be as an artist today.
“All you cared about was that you loved it. It’s like, how do you get back to that?” Maren reflects. “And so it was actually really, really cathartic.”
The Essential Album: Hero with Kelleigh Bannen special is available to listen to for free on Thursday at 1PM ET.
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