Couldn’t let this one pass without a shout out. And, a pour out. And, respect paid to a musician I was just getting to know and dig deep with when he died of an overdose in September 2018 — one month after the release of his record Swimming, which grabbed my attention something fierce and, by all accounts, saw Miller leveling up and stepping into his own emerging, unique, artistic voice and vision.
There was always a companion album planned. Circles was it; and now is it, released posthumously by his family and produced by his partner Jon Brion. So much of what could be written and said about the Miller and the record — about his evolving style; about his vision for his music; about the heft, candor, and meaning of his lyrics as they documented his battles with addition; about his outlook on life and his trajectory — are captured for me in the lead single, Good News. It’s a direct-line artistic evolution from Swimming and a heartbreaking, haunting confession from an addict who knows he’s in a doomed struggle for his life.