The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Chris and Dan count down their Non-Metal Favorites of 2020!

With #BestOf2020 coverage having been fully underway here at Nine Circles for a couple of weeks, it’s time for a bit of a breather. Time to crank down the volume, switch off the HM-2 pedal, and talk some non-metal for a change. If you read Ian’s end-of-year Rainbows in the Dark post and thought to yourself, “boy, I sure would like a two-and-a-half-hour audio version of THAT,” well, reader, have I got the post for you!

A little while back — okay, basically a month back now, because I work in a hospital and doing anything productive when I’m not at work has been a tall order this year — fellow non-metal aficionado Chris Voss and I sat down to talk about our favorite stuff from all the other genres that dropped this year. There’s some shoegaze and some folk, some powerful hip-hop and some super-catchy synth pop. We covered as many bases as we could, for a near Buke-sized amount of time.

So if you, too, need a break from all the heavy stuff, jump on in and check it out. If anything strikes your interest, our full lists are included below the episode audio. Maybe some of the stuff that floated our boats will float yours too!

Shared Picks:

  • Fiona Apple — Fetch the Bolt Cutters [listen]
  • Ulver — Flowers of Evil [listen]
  • Touché Amoré — Lament [listen]
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit — Reunions [listen]

Chris’s Picks:

  • Thundercat — It Is What It Is [listen]
  • Wobbler — Dwellers of the Deep [listen]
  • Zopp — Zopp [listen]
  • Sergeant Thunderhoof — Delicate Sound of Thunderhoof [listen]
  • Bob Dylan — Rough and Rowdy Ways [listen]
  • Elvis Costello — Hey Clockface [listen]
  • The Flaming Lips — American Head [listen]
  • Coriky — Coriky [listen]
  • Fuzz — Fuzz III [listen]
  • John Dwyer, Ryan Sawyer, Peter Kerlin, Tom Dolas, Brad Caulkins, Kyp Malone & Marcos Rodriguez — Bent Arcana [listen]
  • Osees — Protean Threat [listen]
  • Damaged Bug — Bug on Yonkers [listen]
  • Chris Stapleton — Starting Over [listen]

Dan’s Picks:

  • Hum — Inlet [listen]
  • Nothing — The Great Dismal [listen]
  • Sufjan Stevens — The Ascension [listen]
  • John Frusciante — Maya [listen]
  • Tame Impala — The Slow Rush [listen]
  • Sturgill Simpson — Cuttin’ Grass, Vols. 1 & 2 [listen to Vol. 1] [listen to Vol. 2]
  • Jeff Rosenstock — No Dream [listen]
  • Run the Jewels — RTJ4 [listen]
  • Owen — The Avalanche [listen]
  • Phaserland — Inside Architecture: Library Volume 1 [listen]
  • Phoebe Bridgers — Punisher [listen]
  • Caribou — Suddenly [listen]
  • Yves Tumor — Heaven to a Tortured Mind [listen]
  • Jessie Frye — Kiss Me in the Rain [listen]
  • Margo Price — That’s How Rumors Get Started [listen]

“Bubble Albums” and others discussed:

  • The 1975 — Notes on a Conditional Form [listen]
  • Jonathan Hultén — Chants from Another Place [listen]
  • SAULT — Untitled (Black Is) and Untitled (Rise) [listen to Black Is] [listen to Rise]
  • Denise Chaila — Go Bravely [listen]
  • (Basically the entire NewRetroWave Records release lineup for 2020) [listen]

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