Noah Cyrus digs deep into the roots of love on her emotional acoustic collaboration with Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard, “Every Beginning Ends.” Trading verses with Gibbard on the hushed ballad from her upcoming full-length debut album, The Hardest Part (Sept. 16), that dropped on Friday (Aug. 26), Cyrus wastes no time in describing a relationship fading into the the rearview.
“You went to sleep without saying you love me/ I guess I thought you already knew/ You’ve been so cold and far from me, darling/ Someone’s at fault but I’m not blaming you,” the pair sing, trading off lines over Gibbard’s gently plucked acoustic guitar. The second verse plumbs further into the depths of the distance between, as they take turns singing: “I can’t remember the last time you touched/ Well, I can’t recall you making a move/ Doesn’t seem that long ago, darling/ We’d go the whole weekend and not leave our room.”
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In a statement, Cyrus called the recording at Gibbard’s Seattle studio a “surreal experience. I’ve always been such a huge fan, so it was pretty daunting to get in the room with him, but once we got to work it all came very naturally,” she said. “We talked about past relationships, failed relationships, our parents’ relationships, and relationships that have lasted forever. He told me his dad has a saying: ‘You have to wake up and choose to love someone every day,’ and it sparked this conversational song about the twilight of a relationship and the reluctance to admit that something has run its course. I relate to that in many ways, not only with me, but also just with my parents’ relationship. Writing about that gave me more understanding.”
The song’s one-take live performance video was directed by Lance Bangs (Kanye West, R.E.M., George Harrison) and filmed in Gibbard’s studio. Bangs keeps the singers in a tight shot, bathed in deep reds and shadows as they sing the track’s heartbreaking refrain: “You have to wake up every morning/ And choose to love someone/ But I’m finding that harder/ The more that I’m falling out of love with you/ That I’m falling out of love with you.”
Watch the “Every Beginning Ends” video below.