Photography by Ryan Shorosky
Fashion by Julia Ehrlich
There’s got to be a better way to describe your feels when a Noah Cyrus joint comes on the radio than “emo,” but isn’t that what it is? Not your My Chemical Romance or Brand New brand of emo, but like, you know, Lil Peep or Yung Lean. Moody music to listen to while curled up in a ball on your bed, wishing you could just disappear. And, as we chat over the phone, Cyrus lets it slip that, well, she kinda identifies as emo. Receipts? She once DJ’d an emo night in Los Angeles.
“Yeah, this next series of my art and my music is going to be an exploration of a more ‘emo’ side for sure,” the 18-year-old says on a phone call from her home in Los Angeles. “I think that probably stems from growing up with Trace Cyrus in my house because he was the king of emo.” Trace is Noah’s brother and the tattooed former leadman for emo-punks Metro Station. (Other members of the Cyrus household are also involved in music; you might’ve heard of them.) But while Trace’s music was loud and brash, Noah’s music is mostly slow-burning ballads, albeit still emo.
Case in point: Debut song “Make Me (Cry)” is an unforgettable duet with British singer Labrinth, and you might describe it as “velvety R & B sadcore” despite having the catchiest water drip hook in music history. The music she’s made since, from “Again” to “Stay Together” to the new EP, released in August, have foregrounded moods and feelings—she’s the patron saint of a generation that’s been stuck growing up in a crumbling, insane, hyper-connected world.
“This EP is mostly just about how my emotions have been, and about my anxiety, and about how I’ve been struggling with depression, and how it’s okay to feel those feelings,” she says matter-of-factly. “A lot of people like to judge you, and make fun of you on the Internet, and people make you feel crazy whenever you’re in a depression or having anxiety or having a panic attack. It’s about that and being sad and having your emotions and not being able to ignore the feelings you’re having.”
Cyrus has a little bit of that sadness for the world in her voice…except when I ask her what her vice is.“Oh my go-o-od!” she says with a vocal fry that lasts for several seconds. “Chili Fritos. Chili Cheese—it’s my favorite. I’m gonna go get some right now. So yum. I sit around and eat junk food all the time.”
Hair: Vernon Francois
Makeup: Charlotte Prevel
Photo Assistant: Julian Berman
Stylist Assistant: Grace Lynch
Makeup Assistant: Keely Maroney
Production Coordinator: Tim Oliver