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!

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Rainbows in the Dark: Margo Price – (tracks from) “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter”

Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter

As of this writing only three tracks have been released from Margo Price‘s debut full length Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. But this quick trip back to the golden era of country is enough to convince me that Price is more than worthy of carrying the torch. Late 60’s and 70’s country, for me, is the pinnacle of the genre. The raw emotions and the honky tonk sound so rich you could smell the sawdust on the floor are but a couple of reasons why. There’s less than a handful of likeminded country artists these days so when one such as this comes along it is a time when us dinosaurs rejoice. Continue reading

Interview: Devin Townsend on songwriting, naming pets, and “Casualties of Cool”

Devin Townsend (l) and Ché Aimee Dorval from Casualties of Cool, who will reissue their self-titled debut album on January 15

The mighty Devin Townsend joins for a special edition of The Nine Circles Podcast! Devin chatted with Dan about songwriting, guest collaborations, pet names and much more. A reissue of his 2014 album, Casualties of Cool, will be out January 15, with a bonus DVD performance at the Union Chapel in London, but for now, check out our interview and see what he had to say!

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Rainbows in the Dark: Chris Stapleton – “Traveller”


On this edition of Rainbows in the Dark, we’ll be looking at—gasp, shock, horror—a country album. A very good one, mind you, unfettered by the usual stylistic tropes of Nashville pop-garbage that saturates the radio. Traveller, released in May 2015 by Chris Stapleton, is refreshing in many ways. Not only is the songwriting absolutely brilliant, but Stapleton’s integration of blues, classic rock, and honest introspection makes Traveller an album that doesn’t tidily fit into any particular mold—and frankly, that’s what great about it. From top to bottom, Traveller is a tour-de-force in American songwriting. Continue reading