Both the song and the album name reference the last verse off Swimming
's closing track, "So It Goes."My god, it go on and on
Just like a circle, I go back to where I'm from
Brion told The New York Times
that Miller intended Circles
to be the next step in a trilogy after Swimming
"He [Mac] had this whole aquatic theme that came out of something we'd talked about when he was working on 'Swimming'," Brion said "I'd noticed he mentioned water a few times in the lyrics, and then that grew into all these discussions about water and what it sounds like that became kind of a running joke."
"There were supposed to be three albums: the first, Swimming
, was sort of the hybridization of going between hip-hop and song form," he added.
"The second, which he'd already decided would be called Circles
, would be song-based. And I believe the third one would have been just a pure hip-hop record. I think he wanted to tell people, 'I still love this, I still do this.'"