Ever since Miley Cyrus performed a live cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September, she’s been living rent-free in everyone’s heads. Strutting in a cut-out black bodysuit and singing with everything she had, Cyrus reminded everyone she is a force to be reckoned with.
After her cover went viral, Cyrus has revived her iconic Backyard Sessions series. The newest iteration of Miley Cyrus Backyard Sessions aired Oct. 16, presented by MTV Unplugged. Sensational, powerful and raw, these backyard covers have become a staple in my October music rotation. Cyrus has solidified her role as one of the most influential artists of our generation.
The singer-songwriter used to perform “Backyard Sessions” in 2012 and 2015 on her YouTube channel. I remember the first time I listened to her cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” in 2012. Her voice shined, unlike any other time I’ve heard. This is the type of music her voice was made for.
I’d be remiss not to mention another source of Cyrus’ recent power: her mullet. Lately, I’ve seen so many people on TikTok cut their hair into a mullet as a result. And I can’t deny that I’ve thought about whacking all my hair off to create a similar shaggy cut. With her new cut, Cyrus is living her best, single life. And while people are surprised by this new, strong appearance, Miley has always had this voice in her — it’s just shining through more clearly now.
Switching to a rock genre on Backyard Sessions has complimented her voice. It’s truly a bad bitch genre, especially if you have the mullet to match. Cyrus was joined by the band The Social Distancers (perfect name, I know) to perform the Cowboy Junkies version of “Sweet Jane” on MTV Unplugged. This song reminded me of her cover of “Jolene”— it had some twang to it, but not too much, and her deep and strong vocals are rough in the perfect way.
Noah Cyrus joined her to perform “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus,” and I was reminded how talented both of the sisters are. Noah Cyrus can truly stand on her own. The sets for each cover were beautiful, filled with euphoric plants and different colors. It made each video feel like a dreamland. The atmosphere of the videos, in addition to Cyrus’s voice, take you to a different place. I Got So High That I Saw Miley Cyrus.
My favorite cover so far is her rendition of “Gimme More” by Britney Spears. Somehow, Cyrus has this ability to make every song feel like it was meant to be sung her way. She sings these covers like they are her own. Cyrus is a big Britney fan, and in some ways they are very similar. Both are fearless and unapologetically themselves.
She also performed an acoustic version of her 2020 single “Midnight Sky.” It amazes me how Cyrus can perform her own song in so many different ways. It changes every time I hear it. A cover of “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam just came out on Wednesday, solidifying her place as a rock queen. I’m excited to see what comes next.
People are loving this content right now because it awakens the ‘70s and ‘80s vibe that pop culture is feeling right now, in fashion and in aesthetic. Cyrus has always had this timeless swag, but she is finally coming into her true form. In dark times, these backyard sessions have given me strength I didn’t even know I needed.