Braison Cyrus releases haunting debut album ‘Javelina’


Tyler Barksdale

Braison Cyrus promotes his new album and music career.

Despite coming from a musical family, Braison Cyrus never envisioned himself as a musician. He dislikes being in front of a camera and has a deeper relationship with story telling rather than song writing. Cyrus’ debut album “Javelina” explores a compilation of short stories that sprawl across the American South.

With a blend of psychedelic, folk and Americana styles, “Javelina” is a model alternative-country album. Cyrus cites artists such as Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket and Steve Earle as inspirations for his sound. Earle is also featured on the track “Black Water.”

“I had never really considered myself as [alt-country] or even really heard of it until people started describing ‘Javelina’ with that genre,” Cyrus said. 

Much like a traditional country album, each track on “Javelina” takes on a narrative approach. However, the majority of these songs are rooted in fiction. The songs on this album craft haunting tales of dreamers, wanderers and hardened heroes reminiscent of Southern Gothic protagonists. The album’s closer, “Across the Great Plains,” is from the perspective of a Union soldier after the Civil War. 

The track “Autumn Leaves” is a more personal story for Cyrus. He dreamily sings about a breakup with pedal steel guitars and mandolin. Eclectic instruments follow through the rest of the album like the track “Revolver.”

Cyrus found his musical roots after returning to Nashville from Los Angeles. He cites his homecoming as a major creative breakthrough for his music. After the breakup with his girlfriend that inspired “Autumn Leaves,” he wrote “When You Wake Up,” which he initially wanted his sister Miley Cyrus to sing. 

“She said, ‘No, why don’t you record it? This is a song that you wrote about you,’” Cyrus said. 

He said that music wasn’t something he was interested in at the time. Teaming up with fellow Nashville musician Griffin House brought Cyrus into music full-time. The pair wrote the single “I’ll Never Leave You” in 2018.

“‘I’ll Never Leave You’ started to have relative success so I kind of wanted to build music off of that song,” Cyrus said. “I had all these other songs that I had been writing over the course of a year and I went back to those to make ‘Javelina.’”

With his father and three of his siblings being big names in pop and country, Cyrus is focused on separating himself from the family name. 

“I’ve been able to effectively do my own thing, which is what I’ve been doing my whole life,” he said.
“Javelina” was released on Oct. 22 and is available on all digital platforms. Cyrus’ next performance will be on Nov. 20 at Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado. More tour dates will be announced after the holidays.

Michaela Harris can be reached at [email protected] and @MichaelaRH21 on Twitter.