Mark Ronson unveils Miley Cyrus collab ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’: Here's what the lead single says about the upcoming solo LP
Last week, super-producer Mark Ronson confirmed that he'll be putting out a new solo album full of "sad bangers" sometime in 2019. Ronson also confirmed that he has worked on a new song and found an unlikely collaborator in the form of Miley Cyrus. As promised, the song, titled 'Nothing Breaks Like A Heart', dropped on Thursday and also came with its very own music video featuring Cyrus in a massive car chase surrounded by police cars.
'Nothing Breaks Like A Heart' is the first taste of Ronson's upcoming album, which is also set to feature Swedish pop star Lykke Li, fast-rising Arkansas singer-songwriter Yebba, and the first signee on his own Zelig label, King Princess. Check out the music video for the lead single below:
As he admitted earlier, Ronson is making a full left-turn with the production and songwriting on the new album. Arriving on the heels of Ronson's divorce with French model and actress Joséphine de La Baume, he admitted that the experience has given him a different approach to his own music, putting lyrics and emotion ahead of the beats. It shows on the new song too, as the instrumentation and lyrics are both somber, in stark contrast to Ronson's previous LP 'Uptown Special', which featured some of the happiest and most upbeat music of the decade.
"This world can hurt you / It cuts you deep and leaves a scar / Things fall apart, but nothing breaks like a heart," Miley sings on the new track, with her rootsy, country twang doing justice to the melancholic lyrics.
But it's not all doom and gloom from the duo. As the track progresses, Ronson's fine-tuned sensibilities come into the forefront as he juxtaposes a disco-friendly beat with melodramatic orchestral strings. The many flourishes of horns and trumpets from 'Uptown Special' are gone and the substitution with strings really sets the mood in the track, especially on the interludes.
"Sad bangers" was the phrase that Ronson chose to describe the songs in the forthcoming record and judging by the lead single, it might be the aptest way to describe what's headed our way from the British DJ and producer.
"I call it my 'break-up album', which sounds so nuts – that’s like saying 'a librarian’s kegger' or something – but look at the entire catalog of Robyn and Drake, or emo dance music, or [The Communards’] 'Don't Leave Me This Way' – you can go back as far as you want," Ronson said of the new album in a recent interview with NME while he explained why he can't afford to put out a straight-up heartbreak record.
"I DJ, and I still want to go out and play these songs in the club, or at festivals and sh*t, so I’ll never be able to fully turn off the spinning disco ball in my head. It’s just a slightly different shade."
me and @MileyCyrus making the strings bleed for that heartbreak 💔 pic.twitter.com/En8F8QXO0d— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) November 27, 2018
While we're talking about how Ronson can't seem to turn off the spinning disco ball in his head — even with all the heartbreak, it might be noteworthy to add that a disco ball shaped like a broken heart features recurringly in the imagery associated with the new album.
Apart from featuring in the new video, it also features on the cover picture of Ronson's Twitter page. The producer also requested fans to leave a 'broken heart emoji' in the comments of the Tweet announcing the new single.
Starting it off with a bang. #NothingBreaksLikeaHeart ft @mileycyrus OUT NOW. Leave a 💔 in the comments if it made you feel some type of way...— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) November 30, 2018
WATCH: https://t.co/WlceHA6Xpd pic.twitter.com/HDCqyY4uR8
Another refreshing change from the previous album is the overwhelming number of female collaborators. As mentioned earlier, guest spots on the album (apart from Cyrus) include Lykke Li, Yebba and King Princess — all female artistes. Ronson explained how it wasn't a conscious choice and it just came to be, adding that many of his collaborators were also going through similar experiences at the time.
"It just sorta happened that way. They were the people that I was working with and coming into contact with," Ronson revealed. "There was no real conscious effort – I didn’t turn away any men at the door – it’s just how it turned out."
Ronson also revealed more collaborations on the upcoming yet-to-be-titled record, which includes The XX's Jamie XX and London-based producer Jae5, and also spoke about how the album inevitably ended up tapping into his emotional side.
By https://t.co/r5tL5TmAeb 💔 #NothingBreaksLikeaHeart pic.twitter.com/aH1iB4n8Uz— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) December 2, 2018
"There have been great people collaborating on this record with me – Jamie xx, Jae5 who did the J Hus stuff, and some other really great producers – but I needed to get back to doing what I did," said Ronson.
"I think I was probably trying to make some fun sh*t and some club sh*t, but the only thing that came out of my fingers when I’d sit at the keyboard was something that had a little more emotion in it."
It would be safe to assume that the other tracks on the album will follow in the lines of 'Nothing Breaks Like A Heart', mashing up highly emotionally charged lyrics and song structures with Ronson's instantly catchy disco beats. But since this is Mark Ronson we're talking about, it would also make sense to expect a few surprises and a fair bit of experimentation with the sound and feel of the new material.