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Miley Cyrus album of break-up songs and possible scrapped demos surfaces under pseudonym

Down With Me, the 12-track album of songs released under the name Clara Pierce, was uploaded to streaming services on the same day as the singer's latest album, Endless Summer Vacation

By Larisha Paul

Miley Cyrus performing live on-stage in 2019
Miley Cyrus performs live. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

On March 10, Miley Cyrus returned with her eighth studio album, Endless Summer Vacation. It wasn’t the devastating divorce album she was expected to release, with her ruminations on the dissolution of her relationship with Liam Hemsworth tucked in between sweaty dance records and self-love anthems. All of the grit and emotional indulgence, it seems, might have been saved for Down With Me, the 12-track album of songs featuring Cyrus’s vocals released on the same day under the pseudonym Clara Pierce.

The artist has around 250 monthly listeners on Spotify, which is around 79 million less than what Cyrus boasts on the streaming service. All of the songs on the record are credited as having been written by Willian Cordeiro, except a song titled “I Don’t Wanna Tell You Lies,” which is credited to Carla Pierce. With no formal promotion of Down With Me, not even a single placement on any of the platform’s editorial playlists, it’s possible Cyrus simply didn’t want to be found — if she uploaded the songs, that is.

The album art features the title scribbled across a Pinterest-core mountain landscape in Rae Dunn font. The account photo features an image of a woman who couldn’t look less like Cyrus. But optics aside, Cyrus has one of the most distinct timbres in pop music. Once fans stumbled across the account, there was no question about whose voice it was. And unlike the artists who have recently had music released under their likeness that they had nothing to do with, no algorithm in an Artificial Intelligence program could have nailed down both Cyrus’ vocal patterns and songwriting style this efficiently.

The other possibility is that the songs are high-quality leaks from Cyrus’ past albums, including Bangerz, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, and the 2019 EP She is Coming. Representatives for Cyrus did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

Beyond the obvious connections, like “Sagittarius” being titled after the singer’s star sign and the wink-and-nod to her first album on “See You Again,” a number of songs on the record draw direct parallels to her career. On “Sagittarius,” she references a single from She Is Coming, singing: “I told you once before, I’m my Mother’s Daughter.”

She Is Coming was meant to be the precursor to She is Miley Cyrus, an album she never released. “Just when I thought the body of work was finished… it was ALL erased. Including most of the musics relevance. Because EVERYTHING had changed,” she said before releasing Plastic Hearts, referring to the loss of the material in a 2018 house fire. “Nature did what I now see as a favor and destroyed what I couldn’t let go of for myself. I lost my house in a fire but found myself in its ashes.”

She added: “Luckily, my collaborators still had most of the music that was burned up in journals and computers filled with songs for the EP series I was working on at the time. But it never felt right to release my “story” (each record being a continual autobiography) with a huge chapter missing.”

“At Least I Can Say That I Tried,” which appears on the first half of the mysterious record, echos the thematic elements of Cyrus’ one-off single “Slide Away,” where she sings: “I want my house in the hills/Don’t want the whiskey and pills.” On the secret song, she takes it a step further: “It feels like overkill/Don’t need another pill/Got lost in the chaos/You don’t know when to stop/When I wake up, look over at him/He’s still so fucked up/I’m always afraid of what I will find.”

And “At Least I Can Say That I Tried” is commonly known among Cyrus’ fans as “1000 times (Been Through This),” a demo she cut for a Juice WRLD collaboration that never materialized. On Sunday, the late rapper’s former manager Pete Jideonwo shared a post from a fan account about the song, hinting at a possible official release.

The album and the previously released Carla Pierce singles “I’ll Never Get Hurt Again” and “Without You,” which were uploaded in 2021 and 2022, respectively, are no longer available on Spotify. Down With Me is listed on Apple Music and can be found on YouTube.

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