It’s her first headlining tour and she’ll cry if she wants to (and it’s alright if you do, too). “I just want people to know it’s OK to really feel their feelings,” says Noah Cyrus of the message behind her Good Cry Tour, arriving Oct. 7 at the House of Blues. The night will showcase the music of her same-named EP, released to favorable reviews on Sept. 21.
When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7
Where: House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn
Tickets: $22.50 (in advance)
With only six tracks, it’s a promising debut from the youngest member of the Cyrus clan, who first garnered attention after releasing the heartfelt single “Make Me Cry” with English producer Labrinth in 2016, and then for “Again,” her collaboration with the late rapper XXXTentacion in 2017. On “Good Cry,” Cyrus’ smoky, dark vocals continue to be center stage, drawing comparisons to the sultriness of Lana Del Rey and the emo-ness of Lorde.
Yet where there’s attachment from a distance with some of her contemporaries, there’s an unparalleled realness with Cyrus’ delivery on tracks like “Mad At You,” which chip away at the veneer of years spent as a kid actor and continue to cultivate a strong DIY ethos. Even on the day of our interview she dashes out of her broken-down bus to stand in the middle of a Wendy’s drive-thru in order to find cell phone reception to take the call.
“Honestly I wanted to do this all on my own,” she says when asked about how her family may have contributed to her career, and still admittedly uneasy about the comparisons to her superstar sister Miley. “But in their own way they have all inspired me. [My brother] Braison, especially. He is a big reason why I’m in music today; he introduced me to so many of my favorite artists from a young age, like Band Of Horses, My Morning Jacket, the list goes on.”
Her dad, Billy Ray’s “achy, breaky” love odes also had their impact as Cyrus has admitted that she feels most comfortable writing sad songs — and had plenty of material to draw from for “Good Cry.”
“I was in a pretty dark place, during the writing of [the EP],” she says. “I felt like I was at a low point and not knowing what to do with my life. I had problems with my boyfriend at the time. The whole album is about this relationship I was in for two years and where I was at mentally. The songs are about how I have struggles and inner demons just like everyone else and it all kind of ties into one another,” she says, though not to be confused with her most recent ex, rapper Little Xan. The breakup was just before “Good Cry’s” release, and morphed into an odd online promo to bottle up a vial of her tears for a hefty price tag of $12,000 before it was quickly removed.
All joking aside, Cyrus says the most important thing is for her music to be relatable. “I feel like everything on my album is a common human experience,” she says, “whether it’s losing the love of your life or losing yourself for a bit or having inner struggles like anxiety or depression and everything that comes with that.”
Cyrus, who has been an advocate of mental health awareness on her popular social media accounts and also open about her own therapy sessions, was named one of Time’s Most Influential Teens in 2017 just as she went on the road opening for Katy Perry.
“That was really kind of crazy to be on a list with some amazing people, including some friends of mine. It was an honor for sure but made me wonder, what have I done to deserve this?,” she ponders, pointing to peers like up-and-coming rapper Kodie Shane, Billie Eilish and her handpicked tour mate Maty Noyes, as being prominent influences on her. “Young people are really running everything right now, and the young culture of today, they’re so smart. They know what’s happening in the future and they’re creating what they want their future to be.”
When asked what future she’s trying to create, Cyrus says, “Music. All I care about is my music. I obviously want a safe world for everybody if we’re getting really deep,” she jokes, “but my safe and happy place is always going to be music.”
Selena Fragassi is a local freelance writer.