Singer-songwriter Maren Morris made her debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night (June 6th), performing her top 10 hit “My Church.” The song appears on Morris’ newly-released full-length album Hero.
Sporting a fringe-tipped dress with snakeskin patterning, Morris strums the opening chord sequence on her acoustic guitar and emits the opening line, “I’ve cussed on a Sunday,” as her band shifts into gear. She’s a little reserved at first, but by the time she hits the first chorus, she’s settled into the song’s laid back groove and reaching the gospel-inspired high notes with confidence.
With its incorporation of sacred imagery and language, “My Church” is Morris’ way of talking about something — in this case, listening to music — that’s been a sanctuary for her. Predictably, some people took offense to the idea, interpreting it as a critique against Christianity. Morris says that was hardly her intent.
“Even though I didn’t write it from a particularly religious standpoint that day, I was talking literally about music being my version of church,” she tells Rolling Stone Country. “I’m not dogging it by any means, but for me, even I had gone to church, it was always the music portion that I woke up for. People are always going to talk some sort of shit, or find something negative to say, but I don’t think there’s one person on this planet that doesn’t like music or has not had an experience where you feel that connected to something through music.”
Morris recently joined with Keith Urban and Brett Eldredge to kick off Urban’s Ripcord World Tour on June 2nd (the day before Hero was released), and she’ll perform with her tour mates on the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, June 8th.