Austin Richard Post, known by fans and everyone else as Post Malone, hit the scene with his debut album, Stoney, back in 2016. His second effort, Beerbongs & Bentleys, dropped in 2018. And now he’s just released his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, with a catchy, lighter track than most of his previous singles. It’s called “Circles.”
The song’s lyrics focus on a relationship full of destructive patterns and dysfunctional choices. Those themes clash with the track’s light, summer-pop sounds. Still, once you listen past that feel-good vibe, a shallow relationship is all that remains.
Post Malone admits that his relationship with this woman is simply too far gone to save: “We couldn’t turn around ’til we were upside down.” Perhaps if they’d taken care of their issues earlier, things could have worked. But that ship has sailed: “Seasons change and our love went cold/Feed the flame ’cause we can’t let go.”
It’s clear that this relationship is stuck in a own negative cycle (“You don’t believe it, we do this every time/ … Run away, but we’re running in circles”), one that revolves around repeatedly unmet hopes (“You thought it was special”) and shallow sexual pleasure (“It was just the sex though”).
Malone is ready to “let it go.” But he’s not ready enough that he’ll make the first move. In fact, he’s waiting on this woman to mess up, “to do something” so that he won’t have to “take the blame” again for the romance’s failure.
The video for the song features Malone in the unlikely role of a medieval knight who’s dealing with the aftermath of a bloody battle (we see dead combatants full of arrows) in which he was apparently the only survivor. He stumbles wearily through a grimy, Game of Thrones-inspired realm, searching for a woman who is held captive, both emotionally and physically. (Indeed, her mouth seems to have been creepily erased.) But no matter how hard he tries to rescue her, his efforts are thwarted. The video strives mightily to connect with the song’s lyrics, but its images of fantasy warfare clash with the song’s sunny vibe.
When compared to Post Malone’s other songs, “Circles” is far lighter than most of them. Well, kind of. The beat itself feels like something you might gladly turn on while taking a road trip. But the lyrics here are both suggestive and dreary. After all, this song focuses on a relationship that was doomed from the start and barely held together between the sheets.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).