Courtesy of Walker Bunting

September 26, 2022

Noah Cyrus Reveals ‘The Hardest Part’ of Growing Up in New Album

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Growing up as the daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus and the sister of pop sensation Miley Cyrus, Noah Cyrus has been in the public eye all her life and undergone many trials as a result. In her first full length album, The Hardest Part, Cyrus tells the story of her struggles, which include addiction, substance abuse and breaking and reforming her relationships with her family and significant others. The album describes her journey through these challenges and marks the start of a new chapter in her life.

While the album is not Cyrus’s first work, it is unique to anything that she has done before, which is what makes it so special. Almost all of the songs on the album are deeply personal and written by Cyrus herself. It is more raw than any of her previous music, which allows her listeners to connect to her more than ever before. The Hardest Part’s transparency makes it incredibly relatable and shows a side of Cyrus that has never been seen before.

In the album, Cyrus included a variety of songs with elements of pop, country, folk and indie music. This versatility proves that she can nail any genre. The change in style in each song throughout the album indicates the highs, lows and the in-betweens of the last few years of Cyrus’ life.

The first track of the album, titled “Noah (Stand Still),” describes moments of pain that Cyrus has gone through and how she has needed to “stand still” in order to get through them. The song’s slow melody and low pitch indicate the dark and somber tone of the album, giving a preview of the theme of the rest of the songs.

Cyrus supplements her slower songs with more upbeat ones in order to truly convey the experiences that have made her the artist she is today. In the track “I Just Want a Lover,” Cyrus’s singing feels much more upbeat and  energetic. This track differs from some of the others on the album because it doesn’t describe a personal experience of Cyrus but instead expresses her dissatisfaction with the United States. The loud, fast-paced song reveals anger that Cyrus has felt over recent political issues.

While most of the album consists of solo tracks, Cyrus also features indie rock artist Benjamin Gibbard in the track “Every Beginning Ends.” Gibbard is the lead singer and guitarist for the band Death Cab for Cutie and also a member of the band The Postal Service. This song focuses on Cyrus’ romantic life as she mourns her failed relationships over the years. The lyrics describe a slowly deteriorating relationship as Cyrus details her experience of falling out of love with her significant other. She compares the beginning of a relationship to its end in order to convey how her feelings have changed.

The Hardest Part ends in a track titled “Loretta’s Song.” While it has a slow melody similar to the first track, this one is much more hopeful. She acknowledges that while she is still going to experience pain, she is also able to move on from it. The song is loosely based on the words of her grandmother Loretta, who passed away while Cyrus was recording the album. Although the death of her grandmother was painful, she can use everything she has learned from her to get through both it and other difficult experiences that will come her way. The track serves as a powerful ending to a raw and emotional album. As a fan of Cyrus’ older music, I can definitely see what makes The Hardest Part so special. It is often difficult for those in the public eye to be so vulnerable, but Cyrus’ ability to do so has enhanced her music so much and shown so many others that they are not alone in their struggles. I believe this is just the beginning of many powerful projects to come.

Ili Pecullan is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. She can be reached at [email protected].