Just five months after dropping her eighth studio album, Endless Summer Vacation, Miley Cyrus is back with new music. This Friday morning, the 30-year-old singer released “Used To Be Young,” a touching ballad about youth and growing older.
Even better: Cyrus released a music video for “Used To Be Young,” too. The emotional visuals feature a single shot of Cyrus singing directly to the camera. It’s intimate, deeply personal, and showcases a shockingly vulnerable side of the star who rose to fame, in part, for her carefree reputation. There’s even a reference to her Disney Channel days —back when she starred as the teen pop star, Hannah Montana. That period of her life, of course, is symbolized by the Mickey Mouse tank top that she wears in the video. As Cyrus reflects on her “wild” youth, her face breaks into a teary-eyed gaze and wistful smile. Judging by her expression, it seems like she’s ready to close that chapter of her life. Check it out below.
In its opening moments, “Used To Be Young” sounds overwhelmingly melancholy, as if it's a eulogy for Cyrus’s past life. “The truth is bulletproof, there’s no fooling you,” she sings. “I don’t dress the same / Me and who you say I was yesterday / Have gone our separate ways.” As the song continues, it reveals itself to be more of a celebration. “You tell me time has done changed me,” she belts, “That’s fine, I’ve had a good run / I know I used to be crazy / That’ ‘cause I used to be young.”
Ahead of its release, Cyrus posted the lyrics to “Used To Be Young” on Instagram and explained the song's meaning. “These lyrics were written almost 2 years ago at the beginning of my ESV,” she wrote. “It was at a time I felt misunderstood. I have spent the last 18 months painting a sonic picture of my perspective to share with you. The time has arrived to release a song that I could perfect forever. Although my work is done, this song will continue to write itself every day. The fact it remains unfinished is a part of its beauty. That is my life at this moment…unfinished yet complete.”
We can always count on Cyrus to release the right song at the right time. Earlier this year, she urged us to feel carefree with Endless Summer Vacation. Now that summer is coming to an end, “Used To Be Young” signals a shift towards reflection and gratitude. Cheers to that!
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