Following years of cultivating a controversial public persona by making experimental music with the Flaming Lips and riding cannonballs in her underwear, Miley Cyrus has very clearly been steering the ship in a completely different direction this year. She stopped smoking weed, put out the tame, country-leaning ballad “Malibu,” and a few days ago, announced the release of her sixth album, Younger Now, which thus far sounds like it was more influenced by rock than rap and those aforementioned country roots. Last night, Cyrus shared a new video for the title track, which blends traditional American music with a modern pop influence and is an overt reflection on the changes she’s made in her life.
In the clip, which features everything from a wholesome puppet show to a (conservatively clad) pole dancer, Cyrus wears a bunch of vibrant outfits inspired by classic country music and says although she doesn’t love every part of her past, it’s made her who she is now: “Feels like I just woke up / Like all this time I’ve been asleep / Even though it’s not who I am / I’m not afraid of who I used to be.”
Cyrus previously said that Younger Now is about both “not [giving] a f*ck” while realizing that given how much stress there is in the world, empathy is of paramount importance right now:
“This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don’t give a f**k, but right now is not a time to not give a f*ck about people. 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.”
Watch the video for “Younger Now” above.