Miley Cyrus’s “Backyard Sessions” is the perfect series to watch in these times for two reasons: Not only are we all not venturing much farther than our own backyards (if we’re lucky enough to have them), but we could also all use the dopamine rush of new Miley Cyrus covers right about now. So Miley has delivered, as she does, with a new special “Backyard Sessions” edition of MTV Unplugged, MTV’s iconic acoustic performance series. The special, which premiered October 16 in the U.S. and will be rolling out internationally in the coming days, featured Cyrus running through a slew of covers with her backing band, fittingly nicknamed the Social Distancers. It’s another step up from her 2012 original and 2015 revival, complete with multiple costume changes and a swanky stage.
As previously teased, the special featured Cyrus covering Britney Spears’ “Gimme More,” along with songs by Pearl Jam and the Cardigans: “Just Breathe” and “Communication,” respectively. She also gave some surprising love to late ‘60s New York rock, taking on Nico’s “These Days” and the Cowboy Junkies version of “Sweet Jane,” originally by the Velvet Underground. But the biggest surprise came toward the end of the special, when Cyrus brought out her sister Noah Cyrus for carefree duet on Noah’s song “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus.” Thanks to the acoustic setup, the covers veer toward Cyrus’ twangy side, and we’re not complaining. In fact, there’s not a bad cover in the batch — and if you weren’t already convinced that the “Backyard Sessions” are some of Cyrus’ best work, this should do the trick. Cyrus closed the show with a toned-down take on her new single “Midnight Sky” — decidedly not a cover, but it does have that amazingly catchy Stevie Nicks sample. We’ll allow it.