Section: Arts

Noah Cyrus releases folk-inspired album The Hardest Part

Noah Cyrus released her debut album, The Hardest Part, on Friday. With themes like emotional life changes, love and mental health the album draws upon the folk, pop and country music genres.

Since the weekend, fans and critics like Rolling Stone and Variety have been raving about Cyrus’s latest release. The Hardest Part concentrates on acoustic instrumentation and Cyrus’s expressive voice. As opposed to her previous releases, like The End of Everything, her debut album establishes a unique genre to go along with her eloquent story-telling. The lyrics explore navigating life and overcoming heartbreak. 

The album’s first song, “Noah (Stand Still),” begins with the soft sounds of acoustic guitar accompanied by Cyrus’s soulful voice. Throughout the song, Cyrus reflects on growing up and accepts being scared of the unknown. Simultaneously, she brings attention to mental health by sharing her journey of depression and addiction. “When you don’t know where you’re going, just stand still, soon enough you will,” she sings.

A similar message appears in the title track, “Hardest Part.” This powerful song brings feelings of nostalgia as a person visits their family in the home they grew up in. Cyrus writes about the strong feelings associated with moving away through the musicality of the string instruments, percussion and heavy reliance on her voice. The metaphor throughout the song was of seasons changing, describing new phases and intense shifts in life. Cyrus shows a great deal of emotional vulnerability in relation to time passing and forming a new life outside of her roots. 

“I hope you all enjoy the album and where ever you are it takes you back home,” she wrote on her Instagram. 

 Another theme of the album is love and the hardships of breaking up with someone. The first song of the album, released last April, called “I Burned LA Down,” depicts Cyrus feeling defeated after an intense break up. Cyrus reveals that the person she deeply cared about didn’t value her the same way. The passion Cyrus uses can’t help but make a listener empathize while being filled with the need to dance or sing to it.

“Ready To Go” communicates the insecurities of someone’s significant other leaving them. Cyrus delves into the thought process of letting someone go but inevitably remembering them. The song’s melody and upbeat rhythm contrast with the sensitivity of the lyrics, making it a distinctive listen. Other stand-out heartache songs include “My Side of the Bed,” “Mr. Percocet” and “Every Beginning Ends,” which was a duet with guitarist and singer Benjamin Gibbard.

Cyrus has North American tour dates during October and November. Whether you listen to music to feel the lyrics or to jam out, if you are a fan of folk and pop, The Hardest Part is your next album to listen to.

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