In the minimalist, black and white video, released on Monday (October 7), Cyrus appears balled up on the floor. She appears to be alone, but as the camera pans out, we see that she’s actually surrounded by choir members wearing black robes. That’s when the goosebumps hit — as the 19-year-old details how her lifestyle distances her from her family and loved ones, her body starts floating upward, Exorcist-style. The choir circles her levitating body, and she eventually falls back down to earth, where the isolation further sinks in: “I don’t care, anyone, anything / ‘Cause I’m so sick of being so lonely.”
In a statement about the new video, Cyrus explained, “Sometimes there can be dozens of people around you but you still feel lonely. I wanted the video to show what it could really feel like.”
Her co-director, Symone Ridgell, added that all of the choir members in the video were sourced from the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Music Program, and handpicked by Cyrus herself. She revealed, “It’s about vulnerability, trauma and dropping your facade, but also about human connection and finding strength among others (one of the many reasons it felt particularly powerful to work with the Los Angeles LGBT Center). … Lyrically, Noah’s music is always strikingly raw, and for this song, a video that reflects that is the only kind that could be justified to accompany it.”
“Lonely” follows the alt-country “July,” which Cyrus released earlier this year. Both singles are a taste of what’s to come, as the singer has been writing and recording fresh material for her forthcoming debut solo album. The wait is on!