The LATEST (8/25)
We knew that Miley was working on both her new record and a collaboration EP with the Flaming Lips (if you didn't, scroll down for all the info), but the starlet told the magazine she wanted to give away the Lips release for free. Her manager added, "If RCA [Miley's label] wasn't down the gratis plan, she was prepared to buy herself out of the label."
Billboard spoke with to "a source close to the singer" to clear any confusion about the project, which is described as "somewhat psychedelic rock, but Miley's writing sensibilities lean toward pop, so it’s a nice, healthy mix of both." While the Lips collab doesn't have a release date or set amount of songs (Frontman Wayne Coyne said it would have seven earlier this year), the mag's source added that "it's not a Miley record," likely labeling it a side project to not deter or confuse her set fanbase.
The tipster added, "It just needs to be understood that it’s not a typical, straightforward Miley record—we don't want there to be confusion." They added it will be "a throwback to a time when people released [albums] that were synergistic and not just a collection of songs. She's super-excited about it. The Flaming Lips are her favorite band and she’s wanted to work with them her entire life. I think people are really going to be surprised.”
Regarding any potential beef between Miley and her label, the source added that "they've been a part of this every step of the way." RCA CEO Peter Edge chimed in with, "We have a great relationship with her and there’s been no falling-out whatsoever."
Looks like we'll be getting our classic Miley bangerz along with some experimental Cyrus coming soon. Check out everything else we know about the singer's new album, including collaborators, new songs and more, below.
THE BACK STORY
It feels like just yesterday Miley Cyrus dropped her coming-of-age opus Bangerz and twerked into our hearts and playlists. The record garnered mostly positive reviews for the singer's sonic transformation, was the third-highest opening week for a female artist in 2013 and gave Cyrus her first GRAMMY nomination.
Its accompanying tour saw her performing all throughout all of 2014, from North America in the winter, Europe in the spring, and South America and Australia in the fall. Even though you'd think she'd want a bit of rest, she's been hard at work on the record and already had six songs finished by the end of 2014.
There's no confirmed tracks on the record, but we've been hearing new Miley songs thanks to new live performances and a recent leak.
Premiered live at Miami's Art Basel in December 2014, "Twinkle Song" is a touching, psychedelic tribute that only Miley could pull off. "I write about death a lot, randomly, but my friend, she lost her cat, and I had these crazy dreams the night her cat died," the singer said, sitting down at the piano. "I feel like her cat kind of told me what to say to her to get her through it." Watch the live performance right here.
Alongside her go-to collaborators the Flaming Lips, Miley premiered a new tune a New York party for Adult Swim in mid-May. In what very well might be her most mature (not to mention trippiest) sound to date, melancholy synths and moody guitars back the star as she lets her twang run loose, singing lyrics like, "And we always end up singing the same songs / They remind us of the coolest shit in the world."
Miley gave a little insight about the track, telling partygoers, "It was called 'Tiger,' but as you can imagine, Wayne doesn't listen much to Katy Perry and I had to tell him that she already has a song called 'Tiger,'" presumably talking about Perry's "Roar" which boasts multiple lines about tigers and roaring. Watch its live debut right here.
The track, reportedly titled "Nightmare," surfaced out of nowhere and is rumored to be a part of Miley's upcoming fifth studio album. The track has our heroine's signature energy and twang, with a chorus that packs a similarly emotional punch to "Wrecking Ball," but with synthier, rockier production. It very well might be a leftover from 2013's Bangerz, but the vibes are reminiscent of the Flaming Lips. Listen to it right here.
On August 20, a new song reportedly titled "Freaky" surfaced that features Miley admitting her feelings to a lover over a minimal, trippy rock-pop beat, warbling lyrics like, "You take me higher than I've ever been before / Don't laugh when I say that 'cause we just smoked a bowl / I have a hard time anyway saying how I feel / but I'm a little buzzed so I'm keeping it real."
The new tune's got a bit of a Lana Del Rey feel to it, which is in line with how producer Mike Will Made It described Miley's new sound, "like country Lana Del Rey." It's appropriate given Cyrus' signature twang still on full display here.
As part of her Happy Hippie Foundation–presented Backyard Sessions in early May, Miley performed a melancholy piano ballad about her recently deceased blowfish, Pablow. The star's closeness with the pet she "never touched" becomes bleedingly clear at the three-minute mark, when she begins to break down. Watch that here.
Miley's admitted to Paper magazine that her label is a little concerned about her upcoming LP. "They're like, 'Don't make it too weird, don't make it avant-garde; you can't go from Miley to Björk!'" the star says of her label's reaction to new music, which she said she'll be making on her own terms.
She also added that she's been listening to the Flaming Lips "almost exclusively," along with Gucci Mane and country legend Waylon Jennings.
Those influences sound more or less in line with what Mike WiLL Made-It told Noisey in late 2014 when he revealed the star was six songs deep into her record, describing it "like country Lana Del Rey backed by a choir, except it's Miley pouring her heart out."
On June 29, producer Mike Will Made It (the dude behind "We Can't Stop") says that work is going swimmingly for Miley's new album—but he said don't expect it to be Bangerz Part 2...like, at all.
"Her whole sound is switching up," the hitmaker told MTV. "You know what I'm saying? It's crazy....it's gonna be interesting."
At the time of the interview, Mike said the two have "like eight or 10 songs recorded. So, were just gonna pick the best songs to go on the album."
-Mike WiLL Made-It: He's the dude responsible responsible for "We Can't Stop" and other Bangerz standouts like "Maybe You're Right" and "SMS (Bangerz)" featuring Britney Spears. Miley confirmed she was working with his beats in a June 2015 Paper cover story.
-The Flaming Lips: Miley has called the Lips' frontman Wayne Coyne "the most closest fucking human in my life" and he and his band have been working with the star too.
-Ariel Pink: The indie producer was snapped in the studio with Miley and the Flaming Lips on Instagram. He recently produced the excellent surf-pop track "Nude Beach A-Go-Go" off Azealia Banks' Broke With Expensive Taste album.
-iLoveMakonnen: The "Tuesday" rapper/singer told MTV he wrote "a few songs" for Miley. He described one song, saying, it was "A GRAMMY nomination song, because it's kind of heartfelt, and almost country...it’s gonna be deep when it comes out. It's definitely not like the clubby type of poppy record. It's more like a real timeless, heartfelt record that's gonna be picked up in movies and shit. Girls are gonna cry over their ex-boyfriends to it, and the same for guys crying over their girl."
He also teased another song where he's more prominently heard. "We have one where I'm more of the lead on the vocals, and it's… relationship based and like, 'All right, you wanna leave me, then go ahead and leave me. But I loved you.'"
AN EP WITH THE FLAMING LIPS BEFORE? AFTER?
Fans are betting that "Tiger Dreams" (and perhaps more music we've already heard) one of the seven songs that Cyrus is prepping for an upcoming EP with the Flaming Lips.
Coyne told Billboard the songs were recorded in 2014 in Miley's home studio, which "is just a little room with a desk." He added that the tracks "feel pop, but a slightly wiser, sadder, more true version...some of it reminds me of Pink Floyd and Portishead."
The Lips' composer/songwriter Steven Drozd spoke to PureVolume about his band's work with the pop star:
"We're going to try to make a record with her if we can work this out because we've gotten together with her a few times in a recording studio and she's fucking badass. She's a total pro and sings like a bird. She's very patient and did take after take and was totally laid back. I'm hoping that we can help her make a record that she wants to make for the next phase of her career."
There's no date set for the collab record or indication whether we'll get this EP before or after Miley's new album.
Miley hasn't revealed any release date or timeline for her new album, but the singer has never taken more than three years in between albums. With no TV show or movies to distract her, along with the star already having six songs done by late 2014, we don't think it'd be a stretch to say it'll come out in 2015.
Keep checking back for up-to-date info on Miley's upcoming release!