When The Highwomen released their self-titled debut album, the group, made of Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires and Brandi Carlile, hoped the record would be well-received by fans. But they likely never imagined that the project would land at the top of the Billboard's Country Albums chart, or in the Top 10 on the all-genre Top 200.
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"Welp, I guess this is really for real, ladies," Morris wrote on social media. "4 voices in unison, no one over the other in the mix, no one further upstage or whose spotlight is brighter... EQUALS. And now we’re No. 1 in Country. [The Highwomen] text thread is lighting up today."
All four women in The Highwomen have their own successful careers, either as artists, songwriters, or both – which is precisely why they wanted to join forces and make music together.
“We knew from the get-go with this band that we all have our own solo endeavors," Morris told Billboard. "They have families. We’ve said [that] none of us really needed this group, which is, I think, why it’s so special: none of us need the money or the fame. We all have our own things going on, so this was really four people that really believed in the songs that we were turning in for it, and the message behind it."
The Highwomen formed to help shed light on the way female artists tend to be overlooked on radio in country music, as opposed to their male peers. But the message in their music isn't one of anger, but rather one of peace.
“We have no interest in making angry, political music," Morris said. "I think there’s enough sh— in the world and it makes me super depressed. This record is extremely medicinal. There’s no bashing on it… People can’t even talk to their families because politics are so volatile and polarizing. You can’t even sit at a table and have opposing opinions and break bread. That’s what the message of 'Crowded Table' is.”
"I think it’s really awesome [that] we’re singing about our daily, domestic lives,” added Shires. “We’ve been allowed to do that, but it isn’t a thing people really encouraged as much. It felt like it was a bunch of encouragement that way, like, ‘Yes: there’s more to you than just unrequited love.’”
Photo Credit: Getty images / Cindy Ord