The creator of Miley Cyrus and Big Twitchy, Harmony Korine.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture. Photos: Getty Images
There are surprising names all over Miley Cyrus’ new album, Endless summer vacation. A return to bangerz producer Mike Will Made-It. Characteristics of other Brandi Carlile and Sia belts. And, of course, “Handstand,” produced by Cyrus’ drummer boyfriend Maxx Morando and co-written by beach bum And spring breakers filmmaker Harmony Korine. It’s not just the collaborators that make this track stand out – it’s a weird electro freak-out that would be most at home on bangerz Or Miley Cyrus and her dead Petz than the moonlit Malibu pop of this album. But in the song’s spoken intro (which you might be familiar with if you’ve seen the album trailer), Cyrus introduces us to the album’s most memorable figure: Big Twitchy.
With a name like that, it’s hard not to be instantly captivated. “My friend Big Twitchy rode the boat into the light,” Cyrus whispers on the song, recounting an evening by the water. “Surf in the north break / We danced ’til there was nothing left / Just me and Twitchy / ‘Cause that’s all we knew.” We can glean a little about this mysterious figure from this story: they seem to love water and dancing, and to be quite free-spirited. In other words, it’s not hard to see how friendly they are with Cyrus. But there is a little more to the story than what Cyrus tells.
If you think Big Twitchy looks like a character straight out of spring breakers, you’re onto something, because the name seems to come from Korine. The director held a painting exhibition in 2019 at Gagosian titled “Young Twitchy.” In a statement, he explained that the paintings were recreated from photos he would take on his phone of scenes around Florida, where he lives. Korine has made a hobby of drawing “alien friends” on flares in some of these photos. “These light creatures hang out with the dogs or dance on the abandoned wharf,” he said. There is even a specific painting titled Big Twitch, of the light monster standing near a swimming pool between palm trees. (They are also an elusive creature – Gagosian did not respond to Vulture’s request to post a photo of one of the paintings.)
Customs of Korine Garage that he’s been drawing Twitchy since high school, and that their name just happened to be “a nervous little bastard.” He then described the creatures to Vice as “guys I made to keep me company” (while explaining that no, they’re not ghosts). From the paintings, Twitchy does indeed seem to enjoy the water, but also seems to prefer hanging out during the day. “You can definitely see this idea of chaos on the Miami docks,” Korine told Vice of the paintings. “It’s just kind of a weird party that’s starting to come to life.” It’s also apparent from the paintings that Twitchy is pretty harmless and nice. “Sometimes he gets angry when people approach him,” Korine said. Garage. “But most of all, I feel like he’s kind.” It definitely looks like the kind of lightweight creature we’d want to spend a trippy night with.