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The Hilltop


‘Circles’ of Life: Reflecting on Mac Miller’s Posthumous Album

By Sasha Charlemagne, Staff Reporter

Fans of the late Mac Miller get the chance to experience unreleased tracks the artist had recorded closely before his passing. Circles, the posthumous album by Mac Miller, has been released by the late artist’s family and acts as a companion piece to Miller’s previously released record, Swimming. Producer Jon Brion had been working with Miller on the record and finally felt that the final product was ready to be shared with the world.

The decision to release posthumous works of art is always a touchy subject. Many adoring fans would love to hear anything their favorite artist has left behind, but some feel unsure as to whether or not we’ll ever really know if we are hearing the music in the way in which the artist had originally intended. Although we may never really know what tweaks and personal final touches the artist may have made, it is still a heartwarming experience to piece together your own vision for the meaning behind works of art. 

Swimming, which was released in August of 2018, was a series of poetic explorations into Miller’s mental and emotional state poured over swelling orchestras. Circles continues telling this story and allows for Miller to be experimental; playing with more electronic sounds throughout tracks like “Complicated” and “Blue Word.” Where Swimming provides listeners with a look at what Miller feels he is experiencing, Circles allows for a deeper dive into these feelings of being directionless and seeking ways to cope.

The accompanying visuals for each of the tracks on Circles have been released on YouTube; most of which feature still images and short clips of Miller around the time when the album was being recorded. The visual for “Once A Day” is a recording of a screen which displays comments left by loving fans under one of the artist’s music videos. Interactive pop-up exhibitions and album preview experiences debuted in celebration of Mac Miller in Los Angeles, New York and Pittsburgh. These pop ups include rooms decorated with personal polaroids taken by Miller and walls covered in fan art made to celebrate the late musician which viewers can enjoy as they listen to the new album. 

Lyrical Highlights: 


I know somewhere there’s home. 

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I’m startin’ to see that all I have to do is get up and go”

Hand Me Downs:

“And all I ever needed was somebody with some reason who can keep me sane.”

Once A Day:

“Everybody keep rushing. 

Why aren’t we taking our time?”

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