Miley Cyrus is doing well on her own. After weeks of teasing, the two-time Grammy nominee released her new track “Flowers” on Jan. 13 as the first single off her upcoming eighth studio album Endless Summer Vacation, due out March 10. The song is a self-empowerment anthem that some believe is intended for her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth due to the lyrics and the fact that she released it on his 33rd birthday. A closer look at the accompanying film demonstrates how far Cyrus has gone on her path to rehabilitation and independence.
The first lyric muses on a “golden” love tale with an allusion to her Malibu home, which burned down in the 2018 Woolsey fires, indicating that she’s talking about her relationship with Hemsworth. “We thought we were right until we weren’t,” she sings. “I built a house and then watched it burn.” In the pre-chorus, Cyrus laments leaving him, saying, “I didn’t want to leave you,” before finally understanding her true independence in the rebellious chorus. “I can go out and buy myself flowers and write my name in the sand,” she sings. “I can take myself dancing; I can hold my own hand; yeah, I can love myself more than you can.”
In the music video, Cyrus transitions from walking down the street in sorrow to strutting in her driveway and stripping down to her beach suit for a day of yoga, swimming, and dancing beneath helicopter lights. Her 2013 video for “We Can’t Stop” showed a 21-year-old Cyrus having the craziest party imaginable, but her 2019 video for “Slide Away” depicts her dissatisfaction with everything around her at the home party. In “Flowers,” she arranges a party at home for one, and she’s happier than she’s ever been dancing alone.
Many fans believe “Flowers” is an interpolation of Bruno Mars’s “When I Was Your Man,” a song he recorded for his ex-girlfriend Jessica Caban. Though Mars isn’t officially attributed as a sample, the chorus is identical to his 2014 hit, in which he wishes he “gave you flowers and held your hand.” In “Flowers,” Cyrus turns those regrets on their heads and performs the same things for herself, proving that a guy isn’t required to be happy.
“Flowers” is the first single from Cyrus’ new album Endless Summer Vacation, which is regarded as a “love letter” to her chosen home of Los Angeles. On the record, the singer will return with Bangerz colleague Mike WiLL Made-It, as well as Greg Kurstin and Harry Styles producers Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson, who handled “Flowers.”
Her team says that Miley Cyrus’s new music shows “the strength she’s found in focusing on both her physical and mental well-being.” This suggests that her focus on self-love and confidence will continue on the new album.