The song, “Captain’s Dance With the Devil,” uses a sailor metaphor to tell the story of a teenage heroin addict. In the visual, Simpson dresses up in a designer sailor’s costume and other couture get-ups, surrounded by makeshift settings and moody lighting. At one point, Simpson appears in drag, lip-syncing to the music.
“‘Captain’s Dance With The Devil’ was inspired by my new collection of poetry [Prince Neptune],” Simpson says. “It’s a narrative about a young sailor yearning for freedom. A boy interested in rebellion from societal conventions. Interested in the rough life, the tough life, a life outside the law. A life at sea. I thoroughly enjoy telling stories in my music!”
He continued: “I play often with nautical, maritime and oceanic themes in my lyric writing and my poetry. The song can be interpreted in myriad ways and this was my primary idea. Miley interpreted the song, which is reflected in the newly released visual, as the Captain’s struggle with societal norms regarding masculinity, and his secret affinity for dressing as a woman at a time when this was not as widely accepted as it now has become. Being able to tell that story throughout this music visual was ideal, and I hope it inspires encouragement toward creative freedom in people in the realms of art, music, wardrobe and life.”