Owen reviews the lead single from Mac Miller's posthumous album Circles, entitled Good News.
There are a lot of ways you could describe the new Mac Miller single; achingly intimate, a tasteful posthumous cut, a charming throwback to sunny 60s psychedelia, a painful listen or a smooth lowkey confessional summer jam. I’d say it’s most akin to a perfect goodbye. It’s a warm hug from an old friend, a sad glance behind and a hopeful eye towards a future that Mac tragically didn’t get to be a part of himself but, thanks to timeless tunes like this and his goofy yet 100% authentic persona, will still play a key role in shaping thanks to his legions of devoted fans and the many lives he touched in all walks of the industry.
"This is a snapshot of a great artist and a wonderful genuine human being in an incredibly dark place, made sadder by the fact we know this is the last we’ll hear from this singular and wonderful artistic voice."
The track itself is a stark, delicate, Beatles-esque rock song opening with some lovely restrained guitars that intertwine dainty melodies with the crisp, percussional sound only Jon Brion has historically been able to draw out of stringed instruments, giving the track a warm pitter-patter groove. This allows for some supremely laid-back drumming and glittering guitar embellishments to lay a solid hypnotic groundwork for the song to blast off of in its euphoric soaring conclusion.
Elsewhere throughout the track, music box synths gently twinkle and an enormous but surprisingly limber bassline broken up by gorgeous melodic licks gives the song a hypnotic density, a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes that you can’t help but scuba through, trying to pick out individual hues and hazy forms before they dissipate back into the warm, nebulous universe the song conjures.
Over the top, Miller’s vocals sound lonely yet content, laid bare and unbothered by effects in a way that was uncommon in much of his older material. His lyrics are bittersweet, tragic and hopeful in equal spades and honestly, I don’t want to ruin them for you here, this is a snapshot of a great artist and a wonderful genuine human being in an incredibly dark place, made sadder by the fact we know this is the last we’ll hear from this singular and wonderful artistic voice.