SOMETIMES THE AFTERMATH of ending a relationship isn’t the hardest part.
Here is a collab that feels like a flex with respect to the two players. On the most recent single from her introduction full-length The Hardest Part, Noah Cyrus unites with Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard. Kept in Seattle at Gibbard’s studio, “Each Beginning Ends” is a delicate acoustic song touched with pedal steel, recording the conclusion of a heartfelt friendship. “You need to get up each day and decide to cherish somebody,” Cyrus and Gibbard sing as one. “Yet, I’m finding that harder the more that I’m dropping out of affection with you.” It helps me to remember A.A. Bondy or some other miserable peered toward post-Heartbreaker alt-country singer.
“We talked about past relationships, failed relationships, our parents’ relationships, and relationships that have lasted forever,” Cyrus explained in a statement. “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.”
Cyrus described the experience of working with Gibbard as surreal, having been listening to his music since her older sister Brandi first introduced her to Death Cab. “It was pretty daunting to get in the room with him,” she added. “But once we got to work it all came very naturally.”
The melody met up line by line as Cyrus and Gibbard ping-ponged conversational verses this way and that until the relationship they were describing at long last glimmered out.
“I kept coming back to it and just basking in her brilliance,”she told. “It’s easy to be mysterious. It’s easy to be aloof. It’s easy to be cool. It’s so much harder to be earnest, and it’s so much harder because she’s really opening herself up with a lot of these songs.”