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: Kariti — “Covered Mirrors”

I’ve got a Slavic two-for here this week, and we’re also taking it back to what I feel has become The Basics for this column: gentle, mournful, evocative folk music, this time courtesy of the Italian-by-way-of-Russia singer/songwriter/artist Kariti and her soulful debut Covered Mirrors.  While we sometimes stretch our comfort zones in this space, I feel like what I need right now, with fall approaching and the air turning chill, is to vibe with something that is in my wheelhouse, and this album feels like a comfort pick for all the right reasons.

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Album Review: OMITIR — “Ode”

Narrow cobbled stone streets rise and fall passing by vendors outside their homes, and cafes bustling with life—leading to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean or the Douro River.  This hillside city of Porto, Portugal holds so much history and many natural treasures.  OMITIR transports listeners to this historical, robust city and on a tour of Portugal in their newest album Ode. Continue reading

Rainbows in the Dark: Osi and the Jupiter — “Appalachia”

I’ve had a lot of fun with Rainbows in the Dark here.  As much as I love metal, I love a diverse range of genres, I like being able to talk about all of them, and I like being able to stretch my comfort zone and get into stuff I would normally pass by.  I’ve found a lot of albums that I’ve really enjoyed for this column, but with Osi and the Jupiter and their EP Appalachia, I have found true gold, the kind of release I hoped I would find when I picked up this column. Continue reading

Rainbows in the Dark: Aleah — “Aleah”

It’s been over four years since Aleah Stanbridge lost her battle with cancer.  She made an incredible mark on the music industry in her time, from being a featured vocalist on albums by Amorphis, Antimatter, and, of course, Swallow the Sun, to being a solo artist and a member of That Which Remains and Trees of Eternity along with Swallow the Sun’s Juha Raivio.  She was an artist, photographer, poet, musician, and an all-around great person, and as a tribute to her, Raivio spearheaded posthumously releasing an album of her solo material, simply called Aleah. Continue reading