Miley Cyrus unveiled her spritely new pop-rock sound with “Malibu,” the first offering from her as-yet-untitled LP, which is expected to arrive later this year.
The stripped-down song boasts a plucky guitar vamp and steady thumping drums that buoy Cyrus’ simple vocals and lovestruck lyrics. “I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me,” she sings. “I’d be here writing this song/ But here I am, next to you/ The sky’s more blue in Malibu.” Cyrus also shared a video for “Malibu,” in which she performs the song and dances along the beach and other sunny locales.
Cyrus recorded her new album with producer/multi-instrumentalist Oren Yoel. In an extensive interview with Billboard, the musician discussed returning to her rock and country roots after her hip-hop heavy 2013 effort, Bangerz, and her 2015 psych romp with the Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. Cyrus noted that the deliberate aesthetic shift was partly inspired by the current political climate – there are reportedly songs about Hillary Clinton and women in the workplace – but also a desire reach those outside her bubble.
“This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a fuck, but right now is not a time to not give a fuck about people,” Cyrus said. “I’m giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good – I love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”