Watch Miley Cyrus Sing Banjo-Fied Cover of Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ With Fresh Lyrics

Miley Cyrus gives the Talking Heads‘ jittery 1977 new wave classic “Psycho Killer” a fresh spin in a fan-posted video of the singer’s cover of the track from her November performance at Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont. In the minute-long clip, Cyrus trades the original’s spare, bass-thrumming, quick-strummed guitar for finger-picked acoustic guitar and banjo, giving the track a country makeover.

In keeping with the folky feel, Cyrus twangs up the vocals as well, crooning, “Cuz my bed’s on fiiiiiire/ No, don’t touch me baby/ I told you I’m a real live wire,” while messing with the lyrical timing to draw out and emphasize different syllables, transforming it into more of a bluegrass hoedown.

She then tells the crowd, “if you know this song, this is the regular part,” before breaking into the French-tinged chorus, which she also Miley-fies to make it uniquely her own. Speaking of which, Cyrus also completely rewrites the tune and adds her own fresh verse, on which she sings, “I love you psycho killer/ I’mma love you forever/ You know I’ll never run away,” cheekily asking the intimate audience if her take is “better than the original.”

The video appeared to be from the same intimate November Chateau show that spawned the first live performance of Miley’s Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash “Flowers.” At press time a spokesperson for Cyrus had not returned Billboard‘s request for further comment on whether the singer’s rendition of the Talking Heads song will be included on the upcoming 16-track Stop Making Sense covers albums; Paramore’s rendition of “Burning Down the House” has already been released.

The tracklist for the Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to the Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense tribute album has not yet been released, so it’s unknown if that is the song Cyrus will cover on the LP, though her name was among those announced as contributing to the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Heads’ landmark Stop Making Sense concert film. In addition to Cyrus and Paramore, the soundtrack is slated to include covers by: LordeThe NationalTeezo TouchdownKevin AbstractJean Dawsongirl in redBADBADNOTGOODBlondshell, The Cavemen., Chicano BatmanMoney Mark, DJ Tunez, El Mató a un Policía Motorizado, The Linda Lindas and Toro y Moi.

It’s no surprise Cyrus gave the song so much personal attention, since she clearly has an affection for the band. During her 2023 New Year’s Eve special, the singer teamed up with Talking Heads singer David Byrne for covers of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and Byrne’s “Everybody’s Coming to My House.”

Watch the Cyrus “Psycho Killer” video here.

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