Jessica Fortunato | Staff Writer
On Jan. 8, the family of deceased Pittsburgh rap artist/producer Mac Miller announced via Instagram that Miller’s album, Circles, will be released on Jan. 17.
Miller was found dead in September 2018 due to an accidental drug overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol. The Instagram post was the first report that Miller’s career would continue.
Circles was described by the family as a companion to Swimming, Miller’s 2018 critically acclaimed album that earned a Grammy nomination. The unification of the two albums creates the concept of “swimming in circles.”
Miller’s family said that record producer and composer, Jon Brion, was a major contributor to the completion of Circles. Brion finished the album with Miller’s vision in mind.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Brion dedicated himself to finishing Circles based on his time and conversations with Miller.
“Swimming, though lush and handsomely performed, was still grounded in Miller’s hip-hop roots. So if Circles indeed draws more heavily from Brion’s talents, it will be a fascinating companion piece in Miller’s catalog, and maybe one that puts his live musicianship and arranging skills front and center,” the Los Angeles Times wrote.
The first single from Circles, “Good News,” was released with a music video on Jan. 10. It has accumulated more than 8 million views and 40,000 comments from fans.
The song sparked contrasting reviews between fans and critics.
“‘Good News’ is spiritually in stride with Swimming, with a quiet optimism that pierces through the darkness … Compared to the lo-fi raps and self-production on so much of his best music, it’s a little underwhelming,” Pitchfork newsletter wrote.
Fans seemed to have disagreed, voting Miller’s “Good News” as the most beloved track of this week on Billboard magazine, with the single receiving 86% of the overall vote.
XXL magazine featured the track listing for Circles on its Twitter account, and Rolling Stone magazine also promoted the recently released single through social media.
Miller’s family started a new Instagram page, @92tilinfinity, to spread information on the new album. The page features artwork by fans, friends and family, as well as pictures of Miller.
The cover art to Miller’s first posthumous album was also released in the post.