Following the release of PJ Harding and Noah Cyrus’ collaborative single and video “Dear August,” the duo released “You Belong To Somebody Else” on March 19. The song is part of their upcoming debut EP People Don’t Change and is accented with flashes of folk, Americana, bluegrass and country energy, radiating light in a moment when it’s needed the most.
“At heart, this is really a raw, homemade record,” Harding stated. “There’s a strong folk tradition in Australia, which you can possibly feel. There’s certainly a lot of Nashville in there too. I feel like Noah is really the guiding force here. She’s the soul of this record.”
Their paths first crossed in Bali at a 2018 summer songwriting camp, and from there, Harding went on to play guitar for Cyrus on her song “Good Cry.” A year later at the same retreat, the pair had a proper meeting— and the connection was instantaneous. “From the moment we met, I just wanted to be in a band with PJ so bad!” said Cyrus. “Even though neither of us expected to be here, it’s honestly my dream collaboration, and that’s not bullshit because I knew it immediately.”
After co-writing four songs from Cyrus’ 2020 EP, The End of Everything, they released their first joint single “Dear August” last summer as a love letter to the future during the pandemic, with hopes that there was a light on the other side of the darkness.
“It was full circle and funny for us to write ‘Dear August’ after ‘July’,” shared Cyrus. “I was going through a lot. I suffer from anxiety and depression. We were in this cloud of darkness where it’s very easy to fall into bad habits. July and August 2020 were the hardest parts of quarantine for me. I lost my grandma and I was looking to the future for hope. The song reminds me you will get to the light at the end of the tunnel. It may not be perfect, but you’ll get there.”
Although the pair are collaborating remotely at the moment (Harding in Australia and Cyrus in Nashville), they still managed to produce a body of songs that resulted in their debut EP People Don’t Change, which is set for release April 23. Regardless of the unprecedented circumstances for creating the EP, their chemistry seems to be more prominent than ever.
“This wouldn’t have happened without PJ,” said Noah. “He put the music together, so I could do this. He’s the most talented dude I’ve ever partnered with. I genuinely admire him as a writer, singer, musician, and artist. Writing songs before, I honestly felt a little lost. It felt special to go back to my roots and make something with guitar and piano-like what my dad made me listen to as a kid. I felt like I was able to put my true self into this. I could be who I am at the core—which is just Noah from Nashville.”
Listen to “You Belong To Somebody Else” below.