Lately, Miley Cyrus has been trying to put some mileage between herself and her recent past, and has gotten dinged for musical transactionalism.
But if Miley was just verbally sloughing off her recent work with those comments, her new single and video for “Malibu” affirm that she’s circling back around. There aren’t any guest rappers on the sunny pop-rock song. The Flaming Lips had nothing to do with “Malibu” (as far as we know). There’s no massive soaring hook that depends on a firm electronic grounding. It’s basically just Cyrus, some handclaps and fluttering guitar.
The emotional crux of this song is as clear as the waves off the coast of the song’s title locale: Second chances are possible and the spaces we inhabit always look different, depending on where we’re at in life. One day a walk on the beach can feel like the end of the road, the next it can be the start of something new and freeing.
Cyrus says she wrote the song in the back of an Uber, and “Malibu” has that kind of dashed-off feel to it. Nothing seems to have been fussed over when writing this song. These are simple pop themes delivered in the most direct way possible.
Again, no word on when Cyrus’ new album is out or what it’s even called, but check back for more info. Watch the “Malibu” video above, and see our recent interview with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne in which he discusses Cyrus here.