Miley Cyrus is taking her fans on a breezy jaunt to “Malibu” on her first solo pop single in nearly four years. The 24-year-old Grammy nominee dropped the new single — the lead preview from her upcoming sixth studio album, due out later this year — Thursday.
The tune marks a notable shift from the sonic stylings of the psychedelic rock-inspired sounds of her 2015 album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, employing airy, guitar-driven production from Oren Yoel, who previously worked with Cyrus on her 2013 Bangerz hit “Adore You” and Dead Petz cuts like “BB Talk” and “I Get So Scared,” among others.
Minimal, refreshing, and simple in tone, “Malibu” flits along in radio-friendly fashion as Cyrus gently croons the lyrics over pulsing bass and a bubbly mix of strings and hand claps. Fans will notice its similarities to prior releases like “My Darlin’,” “#GETITRIGHT,” and “Rooting for My Baby,” songs that show off Cyrus’ talent as a vocalist.
Ahead of the song’s premiere, Cyrus revealed its title and teased its lyrical content in an interview published by Billboard earlier this month.
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“I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,” she told the publication, referencing the process of writing the track about her rekindled romance with fiancé Liam Hemsworth. “[People are] going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, ‘This is how I feel’?”
Watch the video for “Malibu,” which Cyrus will perform Sunday, May 21 at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, above.