Wearing your heart on your sleeve is never easy, but it’s what Noah Cyrus does best.
Her latest EP, The End of Everything, tackles loneliness, heartbreak, and adolescence, presented beautifully by Cyrus’ lush vocals. It might not be the kind of music you’ll play on repeat unless you want to be in your ~ feels, ~ but Cyrus currently delivers delicious and smooth bops on the eight-track release.
Following her 2018 EP Good Cry and singles like ‘Make Me (Cry),’ Cyrus plays on her strengths and delivers heartbreak pop bangers that are sure to pull at your heartstrings. Whereas her debut felt unpolished and confused at times, The End of Everything is raw and powerful, with vulnerability at the forefront of deeply personal and complex lyrics.
Opening with sultry piano ballad ‘Ghost,’ the track sets the tone of the EP — slow-burn synth-pop numbers about loss and broken relationships. Cyrus’ vocals are ripe with emotion, infused with twangs of R&B, whilst deep cut grooves and jazzy undertones round out the soulful track.
What standouts on the album is the Cyrus is brutally honest and relatable. In ‘Liar,’ she gets real about her mistakes in previous relationships and takes the blame. Against a soft piano, she recounts the time she lied and how it backfired. “You asked a question and I lied / I think about it all the time / I was wrong to think I’m right / playing God with you and I,” she sings tenderly, recalling dark memories as the relationship fell apart. It’s brutally honest, with raw vocals carrying out the sorrowful apology, “I’ll always be a liar.”
Meanwhile, in ‘Lonely,’ Cyrus opens up about struggling with depression and anxiety by admitting she’s “slowly killing herself.” In a broader sense, the track might seem like an ode to solitude, but it’s more of a call for help, although the track is quite fitting for anyone who is feeling the weight of staying inside and being alone during the ongoing pandemic. Filled with the timely lyrics, “I get told what’s wrong and what’s right / I don’t have a romantic life / And everyone’s dying,” this is the perfect track for anyone who is stuck in solitude. Beginning with a gentle piano riff to let Cyrus’ powerhouse vocals shine, a gospel choir brings the track to a crescendo. There’s a sense of urgency, as Cyrus searches for hope amongst the growing noise, her voice shaking in the realization that she can’t be alone anymore.
R&B is the main influence on the EP, but Cyrus also takes the time to embrace her country roots in the calming and stripped-back track ‘I Got So High That I Saw Jesus,’ and melancholy ‘Young and Sad.’ The second of the two begins with a voice note from her famous father, Billy Ray Cyrus, before Cyrus dives into a moody country-pop about wanting to be older and happier. There’s an element of nostalgia in the track as Cyrus mixes energetic rhythms with slow acoustic guitar, bridging together old and new.
There is a small a glimmer of hope on the otherwise somber-toned EP. ‘Wonder Years’ is full of warm textures and electro beats, bringing a much-needed moment of happiness. It’s dreamy like a fairytale, a beautiful composition of melting melodies as Cyrus infuses Ariana Grande-style vocals with an R&B-ting in the collaboration with Ant Clemons. It’s modern and fresh (with a generous use of autotune), but the stunning layering of whistling, rap, car engines, falsetto, bass swirl together and produce an addicting, vibrant track.
Although Cyrus finally found some light, The EP ends on a darker note with the title track that’s filled with a harsh reality. “Everyone you love is gonna die / but darling so is everything don’t cry” Cyrus croons against a weeping guitar. The folky country tune is melancholy but beautifully poetic, acting as a reminder that life is short and it’s important to live is as best and full as possible.
Household name aside – The End of Everything solidifies what we already knew: Noah Cyrus is a star in every right, even if she didn’t have famous musicians as her immediate family. Every song is thoughtful and sends chills through you with such sad and poetic lyrics. Although ‘July’ made her a multi-platinum artist, the highly anticipated album is definitely worth all the hype.
Noah Cyrus’ The End of Everything is available to stream from tomorrow, May 15th.