Maren Morris has new music coming — and it looks like it might stoke the flames of her feud with fellow country star Jason Aldean.
Morris, 33, shared a clip of a model town via Instagram on Thursday, September 7. A tiny billboard in the fake locale reads, “Welcome to our Perfect Small Town From Sunrise to Sundown,” seemingly a nod to Aldean’s controversial song “Try That in a Small Town,” which was released in May.
“I’m done filling a cup with a hole in the bottom,” Morris wrote in the caption. In addition to the video clip, the post also included a photo of Morris seemingly in the outfit she wore to the Country Music Association awards in 2016. Morris won New Artist of the Year that year while Aldean, 46, spoke out about receiving zero nominations.
“There’s nothing I can go do that’s gonna magically get us nominated next year, or the year after that. At this point I feel like I’ve gone out and done everything I can do to put ourselves in a position to be there, and people either vote for you or they don’t,” he told a group of Nashville reporters in September 2016, according to Taste of Country.
Brandi Carlile seemed to hint that Morris’ new project could be throwing shade at Aldean in the recent post’s comments section. “Oh it is ON 🔥,” she wrote. Carlile, 42, was one of the stars who took Morris’ side when the “My Church” singer shut down comments that Jason’s wife, Brittany Aldean, made about transgender people in August 2022.
“I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life🤎✌🏼 ,” Brittany, 35, wrote via Instagram at the time.
Morris reacted via Twitter. “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie,” she wrote, referring to the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol building. Jason supported his wife amid the controversy, writing “MY Barbie” in an Instagram comment while Brittany later doubled down on her remarks.
“Love is protecting your child until they are mature enough as an adult to make their own life decisions,” she wrote via her Instagram Story, arguing that parents shouldn’t allow their children to transition until they are legal adults.
In the opposite camp, Carlile, who is openly gay, praised Morris’ comments via Twitter.
“It’s when you selflessly bear another’s burden that you actually reflect gods love. Way to not tolerate disgusting behavior,” she wrote.
One month after the social media feud made headlines, Morris told the Los Angeles Times that she was thinking of sitting out the 2022 CMA awards, despite her third album, Humble Quest, being nominated for Album of the Year.
“I’m very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now,” she told the outlet at the time. “So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go. As of right now, though, I don’t feel comfortable going.” (Morris ultimately attended the November 2022 event.)
Jason, meanwhile, sparked further controversy earlier this year when the music video for his song “Try That in a Small Town” was released in July. Listeners were quick to take issue with the song’s pro-gun messaging, especially in light of Aldean’s experience with mass shootings. (In 2017, a gunman opened fire in the audience of a Las Vegas concert while Aldean was performing on stage, leaving 58 people dead and 546 others injured.)
“Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s—t might fly in the city, good luck,” Jason sings on the track.
Elsewhere in the song, the country star sings about teaching a lesson to people who disrespect police officers and the American flag.
“Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough,” he sings. “Well, try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own / You cross that line, it won’t take long / For you to find out, I recommend you don’t.”
Aldean reacted to the backlash via Twitter, claiming that he’d “been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song” and being against the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music — this one goes too far,” he wrote.