Mac Miller's family released his posthumous album, Circles, on Friday.
The family announced they would be releasing his sixth and final studio album last week and briefly described their decision to finish the body of work their son had begun, and poured much of his soul into before his untimely death in 2018. A written statement posted on Miller's Instagram detailed the nature of the new project, which is intended to serve as a sister album to the one previous — 2018's Grammy-nominated Swimming.
Producer Jon Brion, who served as a collaborator on Swimming, had also been working on Circles with the late artist at the time of his passing — due to an accidental drug overdose — in September 2018. Brion completed the album in Miller's absence "based on his time and conversations" with the artist.
Mac Miller through the years
Mac Miller through the years
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 08: Mac Miller performs at La Cigale on September 8, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: Mac Miller performs on stage at Shepherds Bush Empire on September 1, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Mac Miller poses for a portrait backstage at the Fader Fort by Fiat during the SXSW 2011 on March 17, 2011 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 10: Rapper, producer, actor and songwriter Mac Miller performs during the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 10, 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
WANTAGH, NY - AUGUST 02: Mac Miller performs at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 2, 2012 in Wantagh, New York. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: Mac Miller visits at SiriusXM Studios on April 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 853 -- Pictured: Musical guest Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller performs on June 14, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 03: Mac Miller performs on stage at The Forum on October 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 15: Mac Miller performs as part of Wild 94.9's Wild Jam at HP Pavilion on December 15, 2013 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 14: Mac Miller performs in support of the GO:OD AM Tour at The Fillmore Detroit on October 14, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 08: American rapper Mac Miller performs live during a concert at the Astra on May 8, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 29: Mac Miller performs during Lollapalooza 2016 at Grant Park on July 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Rapper Mac Miller and singer Ariana Grande pose backstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
QUEENS, NY - OCTOBER 02: Rapper Mac Miller performs onstage during The Meadows Music & Arts Festival Day 2 on October 2, 2016 in Queens, New York. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for The Meadows)
VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 06: Rapper Mac Miller performs onstage at Vogue Theatre on November 6, 2016 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Musician Mac Miller performs on the Sahara Stage during day 1 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 14, 2017 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: NO SALES, free for editorial use. In this handout provided by 'One Love Manchester' benefit concert (L) Mac Miller and Ariana Grande perform on stage on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. Donate at www.redcross.org.uk/love (Photo by Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester)
MARTINDALE, TX - JULY 22: Rapper Mac Miller performs onstage during Float Fest at Cool River Ranch on July 22, 2017 in Martindale, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Mac Miller attends Mac Miller Album Listening at The Electric Room on July 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MARCH 24: The DJ Mac Miller performs live on stage during the second day of Lollapalooza Brazil Festival at Interlagos Racetrack on March 24, 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Rapper Mac Miller and singer Ariana Grande are seen attending an Oscar party on March 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GC Images)
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Circles features Miller rapping and singing over live instrumentation, and is similar to Swimming in both sound and tone. It's immediately obvious that the albums were meant to complement each other, though Circles feels even more vulnerable than Swimming in some ways — perhaps due to the fact that it's dominated by elegant, fragile-sounding vocals and considerably less rapping.
Much like on his previous effort, many of the new lyrics allude to depression and emotional pain. Miller candidly questions the meaning of it all in a myriad of profound one-liners, such as the first lyric in the song "Woods": "Things like this ain't built to last/ I may just fade like those before me."
Despite the heaviness of the project, a pervading sense of optimism cuts through, leaving the listener with an unmistakable impression that Mac Miller had much more to give.
Along with the album's release, three pop-up exhibits celebrating Miller's life are available for fans to attend in New York, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. The exhibits feature intimate listenings of Circles and multimedia art.