Miley Cyrus dominated the headlines last night as she took the stage to host the VMAs and she ended the show with a performance and a surprise release of her new, free album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. While her interview with The New York Times is now infamous thanks to some choice words for Nicki Minaj, the publication spent a lot of personal time with the singer leading up to last night's VMAs.
The first taste of the album came when the show closed with a performance of "Dooo It!" as co-writer and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, members of his band and the stars of Ru Paul's Drag Race joined her on stage for the technicolor, glitter-shooting performance. One quick glance at the album finds songs about her beloved pet Floyd who was killed by coyotes last year ("The Floyd Song (Sunrise)") to guest appearances from Big Sean, Ariel Pink and Phantogram's Sarah Barthel. After her dog passed, she returned home to heal which is when she says things got "really trippy." She went onto explain that a Chinese healer “sent me into a state where my dog was lifted out of my lungs and placed on my shoulder. I pet my dog for like three hours” before telling Floyd she had to “let go and put his energy out." "I really think, in a way, his energy went into Wayne [Coyne]’s energy," she said. "What he was to me, Wayne has become.”
While Bangerz collaborators Oren Yoel and Mike WiLL Made-It both contributed to production on some choice tracks including "Lighter" and "I Forgive Yiew," Miley describes collaborator and mentor Wayne Coyne as the driving force behind the new album explaining "What Mike was to Bangerz, Wayne is to this project." Mike even added, "Why would she drop another Bangerz? Miley is the new Madonna."
The greatest feat of the album is Miley's willingness and ability to give it away to her fans for free. Miley explains that she made the album on her own $50,000 budget and kept her label RCA out of the loop until it was done which contributed to her decision to give it away for free. She explained that her team said, "They'd never seen someone at my level, especially a woman, have this much freedom. I literally can do whatever I want. It's insane" before adding "This music was not meant to be a rebellion. It was meant to be a gift."