Miley Cyrus Performs ‘Endless Summer Vacation’ in Disney+ Special – Rolling Stone

Miley Cyrus stands in the backyard of the Los Angeles home where Frank Sinatra lived, shining in the sun as she sings about a man who broke his heart. She won’t take the blame, but she’s sorry it happened. The house is the same location where she filmed the “Flowers” music video, and it’s also the backdrop for Endless Summer Vacation (Backyard Sessions)the Disney+ special that premiered on Friday and finds the singer making her live debut of songs from her just-released eighth studio Endless summer vacation.

“Endless Summer Vacation represents, for me, my fearlessness when it comes to experimenting, not just with my sound, but also with my identity and the way I want to be seen,” Cyrus shares after browsing “Jaded” , the song that opens the film’s setlist. Throughout the 42-minute special, released just hours after the album’s arrival, the singer provides in-depth commentary on the LP, which she describes as a perfectly fitting “Cinderella shoe” – where all the stories and all the sounds fell into place perfectly. . “I feel like it’s only mine and it can only be mine,” she says.

The singer also describes her approach to songwriting on the record as conversational, echoing intimate moments with loved ones. “There is a subtle nuance. There is honesty and truth. Then there’s wisdom and there’s humor and there’s heaviness and depth,” she says. “It really represents who I am. And I feel like the greatest records I’ve ever made, or the greatest songs I’ve ever written, do exactly that: they really connect me to those who listen in a way that resembles an intimate conversation. , honest conversation.

Especially here, playing with a full band and two backing vocals, Cyrus needs no audience, nor an introduction. “Everybody’s still a stranger to me, but I’m a stranger to nobody,” Cyrus says of the inspiration behind “Island,” a breezy cut that comes in the middle of the Backyard Sessions. This inherent sense of familiarity colors the elements of Endless summer vacation, though it arrives with a back-and-forth that has largely defined its presence in pop culture for over a decade and a half. “For me, I was able to create these paradises where I feel safe,” she explains. “But I was contemplating this life that I have for myself. Is it a paradise? Or is it a desert island?”

For “Wildcard,” she changes location and her voice echoes as she stands on an elevated poolside deck, owning every shred of her unpredictability. Stripping production from Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson, the raw performance adds weight and uncertainty as she makes statements like “loving you is never enough” and “forever may never come”. But Cyrus somehow likes not knowing what’s next – and relishes having a choice in the matter.

“The sequence of an album is very important to me,” she explains, comparing the creation of the album to a movie. “You want there to be conflict and overcoming. And when it comes to sequencing on Endless summer vacation, I divided it into two parts, am and pm, to represent almost like an act. Morning is the potential for new possibilities, an unknown of what the next 24 hours might hold. The evening, she says, is both grimy and glamorous, both a time for recovery and a time to follow the night wherever it leads.

“Thousand Miles” is an am song that started out as a track about grief before she rewrote it through a happier lens. The record started around 2016 or 2017 as a song called “Happy Girl”, written after a close friend’s sister died by suicide. “I knew she was in pain, but I never thought I’d wake up to this call, ever at all,” Cyrus sings, tears threatening to spill out as she recites the original lyrics. “And I remember that day, I promised you the world, but I soon realized the world ain’t what you need / Now all I want is just that you be a happy girl, even if it’s a world without me.”

The singer wrote these heartbreaking lyrics with her own sister, Noah Cyrus in mind, though the saddest ones didn’t make it to the happy final cut. “It just makes me emotional because now the song is filled with so much joy in the music and it’s become something so far removed from the sadness that inspired the song,” she explains. “Somehow it evolved into a song about happiness and joy and being okay with not knowing exactly where you’re going.”

The feeling of grief that laid the foundation for “Thousand Miles” ended up shaping “Wonder Woman.” For Endless Summer Vacation (Backyard Sessions), Cyrus stripped down the song for a gripping performance with just Rufus Wainwright on piano. It’s the only arrangement on the special that closely mirrors the album’s original recording, but the lyrics feel more delicate in the sparse space in which they perform it.

“When we started writing the song ‘Wonder Woman’, the lyrics seemed too big for me to fill in,” she explains. It was written after the death of her mother’s mother, a woman she adoringly calls “Mammy” and praises her dedication to running the Miley Cyrus fan club since she Hannah Montana days. “This song is about, I guess, that kind of generational strength and the wisdom that my grandmother passed on to my mother,” Cyrus adds. “It was in my DNA, so almost all of us feel like one woman. A wonderful woman.


After a third outfit change, the singer scrolls through his memories with a breathtaking rendition of “The Climb”, a song created for Hannah Montana: The Movie in 2009. In many ways, Cyrus’ identity as Hannah and Miley on the show mirrored her real-life experience, sparking a constant need for reinvention. That’s why she hails the natural evolution of her own creative platform, allowing “Happy Girl” to become “Thousand Miles” and tactically placing “River,” a steamy song about sex, between motivational and emotional anthems. self-love “The Climb” and “Flowers” in the last three-song sequence of Endless Summer Vacation (Backyard Sessions).

“Boredom for an artist can feel like torture, so I always need to reinvent,” says Cyrus. “At this time, the way I do this brings my audience into my never-ending summer vacation. In a way, it’s a vacation to take myself and the success of records so seriously, and to just doing it for the reason I started writing music – because I like it, the beginning and the end.

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