Miley Cyrus dissects 'Endless Summer Vacation' album in documentary

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2023 07:56 PM

'Endless Summer Vacation' album cover.
'Endless Summer Vacation' album cover.

American singer Miley Cyrus' new album "Endless Summer Vacation" hopes to convey the roller-coaster of emotions one experiences in a day.

In the documentary "Backyard Session" on Disney+, Cyrus explained that she divided the album into two parts: morning and night 

"The sequencing of an album is very important to me. I kind of think of it like a film. You want there to be a conflict and an overcoming and when it comes to the sequencing of 'Endless Summer Vacation,' I divided it by two parts, a.m. and p.m., to kind of represent almost like an act. The a.m. to me, is representing the morning time, where there's like, a buzz, and an energy, and there's a potential of new possibilities. It's a new day," Cyrus said in the documentary.

"In the nighttime, it feels that there's like a slinky seediness and kind of a grime, but a glamour at the same time. And, you know, in the evening, it's a great time for rest. It's a time to recover or it's a time to go out and experience kind of the wild side and L.A., there's a certain energy to the night that you can kind of feel trouble boil up to the surface, and it's very inspiring to me," she added.

Cyrus starts the "day" with the moving-on track -- and lead single -- "Flowers" which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks. 

"Flowers" was released on January 13, the birthday of her ex-partner Liam Hemsworth. It has a similar sound to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, some critics said. 

Fans have also been pointing out how the song seems like a response to Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" as it tweaks some of the lyrics of the song. Hemsworth allegedly dedicated the song to Cyrus. 

Cyrus continued to express her sorrow but remained hopeful in tracks like "Jaded" and "Red Colored Lenses." 

"There's subtle share, there's, you know, honesty and truth, and there's some wisdom, there's some humor, and there's some heaviness and depth. It really represents who I am and I feel that the greatest records that I've been able to make or the greatest songs that I've been able to write, write, they do exactly that," the singer said. 

"They just really connect me and whoever's listening in a way that feels like an intimate, honest, conversation," she added. 

She took a different route when it came to "Thousand Miles," which serves as a reminder of how she loves her little sister after a friend lost her sibling.

"When I wrote 'Thousand Miles,' it started as a song that was very different from the one that's on the album. I wrote it 2016 or 2017 and it was after one of my really close friends lost her sister to suicide," Cyrus said. 

"I just couldn't imagine not having my little sister in my life. So I wrote this song for her, and it was originally called 'Happy Girl' and it was 'I just want to see you happy and all I really want is just for you to be happy girl.' And it was just about happiness and sisterhood and 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 from the sadness that inspired the song," she added. 

The morning segment of the album ends with "You," a look back into the good memories with her loved ones, along with "Handstand," closing this chapter of her life.

The "p.m." set of the album starts with the banger track "River," which talks about sex. She noted that an album will not be complete without a track about it. 

"It was a time of my life where I was going through just a lot emotionally and personally and then I had a dance party with my friends. The rule was that every girl had to bring their gay best friend, or no entrance. That was your pass. That was how you enter. We were listening to Diana Ross, Whitney (Houston), Lindsay Lohan, Paris (Hilton), Britney (Spears). You know, all the legends," Cyrus said. 

"We had little -- we have boys in crop tops, little shorts, little high heels. We had like bundles and bundles. The hair was like everyone was Rapunzel. It was so inspiring. Again, I guess, all my songs kind of evolve. They could start as something that was a trouble like it just feels like it's an April shower. It never stops raining, and then, it started raining down like love," she added.

"Sometimes we just need a dance-floor banger. AKA, they don't want me to talk about how the fact the song is about (bleep). It's (bleep) nasty." 

Her nighttime session felt like an empowerment to other women like "Muddy Feet" with Sia, along with "Violet Chemistry" which some artists like Selena Gomez gave it a nod. 

Cyrus gets serious on "Wildcard" about how others made her feel like she's not enough, but she ensured that people would feel welcomed with "Island."

"When I came up with an idea for 'Island,' the idea was kind of, 'everyone is still a stranger to me, but I'm a stranger to no one.' For me I've been able to create these paradises where I feel safe. But I was contemplating this life that I have for myself, 'is it a paradise or is it a lonely island?'" she said. 

For Cyrus, "Island" is a nod to all the women she looked up.

"I was in sixth grade. I was slaying. When I saw women with French tips, I just always wanted to be like them. Whether that was Britney Spears or Pamela Anderson or even my mom," the singer said. 

"I remember my mom would like get her nails done in the kitchen, and she would always have these really long, gorgeous, feminine, sexy nails, but she was never afraid to break one," she added. 

In "Wonder Woman," she also gave a nod to her departed grandmother, who supported her career since "Hannah Montana" days.

"When we started writing the song 'Wonder Woman,' the lyrics felt like too big of a shoe for me to fill. I wrote this song after my mom had lost her mom, and me and my mammy were really close and she ran my fan club. If you ever got an autograph, like from my fan club sent in from probably 2008-2018, that was my grandma. She responded back to every single fan. She ran the fan club in my dressing room at 'Hannah Montana.' Then, when we stopped doing 'Hannah Montana,' my fan club was ran out of her apartment and it was just the joy of her life being the head of my fan club," Cyrus recalled.

"She's always just supported me and my mom and her mom were just really, really close. Me and my mom are really close. This song is about, I guess, that kind of generational strength and the wisdom that my grandma gave to my mom. It was embedded in my DNA, so we almost all feel just one woman in a way, one wonder woman," she added.

Cyrus also gave fans a treat with a demo version of "Flowers" to conclude her album -- a reminder that the journey makes you who you are in life. 

"Boredom for an artist can feel like torture so I always need to reinvent and in this era, the way I've been doing that is bringing my audience into my endless summer vacation," Cyrus said. 

"In a way, it's a vacation from taking myself and the success of records so seriously, and just doing it for the reason I started writing music because I love it, beginning and end," she added.

"The journey is usually the part that you remember anyways. Usually, the getting there, once you're there, wherever that may be, you're like, 'this is what I've been expecting?' And usually you look back and the journey was actually the part that was what makes up your life." 


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