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One of Miley Cyrus’ best songs is an unreleased banger

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It’s a nightmare that any in-too-deep fan of a pop star is familiar with. Pick any of the main pop girlies, and there’s at least one unreleased song of theirs that’s leaked over the years that fans wish they would officially put on streaming. Until then, we’ll all just continue to consistently listen to these songs on YouTube or SoundCloud or our iPhone’s downloaded files folder. For Lady Gaga fans, it’s probably “RockShow” or “Nothing On (But The Radio)” (shout out to queen Addison Rae for releasing her version of this, though) and maybe Britney Spears fans dream of “911” or “Strip” being on Spotify, but for Miley Cyrus fans, it’s “Nightmare” that they undoubtedly think about at least once a week.

Miley recorded the track as part of her legendary Bangerz recording sessions in 2013, but it didn’t make the final album. But, when it leaked in 2015, fans immediately latched onto the undeniable bop, and it actually made a few headlines at the time because it was just that good. How had this one not been released? 

As far as we know, Miley has never publicly acknowledged the breakup anthem, but there is still some tea out there about it. The former “Hannah Montana” star co-wrote the track with Dr. Luke and Kesha, and Dr. Luke produced it with Cirkut. Dr. Luke and Kesha worked together on many of the “Tik Tok” singer’s hits, but her claims that he sexually assaulted her, among other accusations, have obviously cast a shadow on the music they crafted together. (And Miley supported Kesha over the situation.) It’s also become slightly taboo for other singers to work with the super-producer, so perhaps that has to do with why Miley has never embraced the song or worked with Dr. Luke again (he did produce “Party in the U.S.A.” in 2009, in addition to “Wrecking Ball” as part of the same Bangerz era).

Back in 2014, before “Nightmare” leaked, there were whispers about the track amongst Miley’s most devoted fans, and Dr. Luke actually responded to one of those whispers on Twitter. He called the song “Wrecking Ball’s little sister but uptempo” — which feels absolutely correct. It’s an electronic, rock-pop song in which Miley pines after an absent lover. She sings, “I woke up in a broken dream / With no one lying next to me / It’s not how it’s supposed to be / So why’d you have to go?”

While it’s an undeniable banger, if you will, that we should be able to freely stream on Spotify or Apple Music, if you compare the sound of “Nightmare” to the direction Miley ultimately chose to pursue with Bangerz, it’s also not that difficult to understand why it was ultimately left out of the era. It probably would’ve felt a bit out of place on the hip-hop-inspired album, honestly. Can’t Be Tamed, however? “Nightmare” would’ve slotted in very nicely on Miley’s highly underrated 2010 Bangerz predecessor.

“Nightmare” isn’t the only song to emerge that we could’ve gotten from Miley officially, but didn’t. Jojo Siwa divided the internet recently with her debut adult single, “Karma,” and, if you thought that it sounds like a song Miley could’ve recorded a decade ago, you were absolutely correct. Rock Mafia, the mega producer duo behind Miley’s Can’t Be Tamed era who reigned supreme in the 2010s, wrote and produced “Karma.” And it’s not just rumored that they originally intended for the song to be for Miley — there are several clues, including a 2012 Twitter interaction between Miley and Rock Mafia, that seem to point at this being very much true. It’s unclear if Miley ever actually recorded the track, but another singer, Brit Smith, released her version of the song in 2012 — and the Timbaland-produced version has been charting higher than Jojo’s on streaming charts.

So, while we’re still stuck with listening to “Nightmare” in roundabout ways, at least it’s on YouTube so that those of us who are familiar with its brilliance can play it pregames with the gays where we play one another niche pop songs.

More from So.Gay:

The 20 best Taylor Swift songs ever, ranked

The 20 best Lady Gaga songs ever, ranked

Gibson Johns is the gay best friend every Real Housewife deserves

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