“The Top 10 Songs Spinning at KCSU” is written by the KCSU music directors and describes the top artists that your local 90.5 FM DJs are playing this week. The article is updated weekly on Sundays and discussed on their show, “KCSU’s Weekly Gem Countdown,” which airs every Monday from 11 a.m.-noon. Here, you can learn more about each musician or band before tuning in to the top 10 countdown on Mondays, in which the music directors present to you the latest songs topping the charts and break down each song’s sound and feeling.
1. Geena B. Valentine — Pop — (Seven spins on 2021’s single, “Take Me To The Endless Sea”.) Geena B. Valentine has reached beyond her Italian homeland to reach fans globally, including us here at KCSU. Her singing career took her from Italy through Austria to Hamburg, Germany, where she lived for three years. She creates singer/songwriter pop and also has her own hemp-based fashion line.
2. Hippo Campus — Alt/Indie — (Six spins on “Bad Dream Baby” off 2021’s “Good Dog, Bad Dreams.”) Hippo Campus is an indie rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. Off their latest release, “Good Dog, Bad Dreams,” they say it was made with “a genuine sense of freedom and enjoyment … translated here via a lot of screaming.” They sum the album up as “tragic, but it’s funny. It’s intense and honest, confident and vulnerable and strange.”
3. Twofacts — Electronic — (Six spins on “Eaze” off 2021’s “Bluewerks Vol. 3: Heat Wave.”) Twofacts is a lofi-electronic beats artist. Their song “Eaze” made it onto the “Bluewerks Vol. 3: Heat Wave” album, an electronic compilation project. From their Spotify, Bluewerks is “the first ever collaboration series between the two iconic record labels, Blue Note & Astralwerks.” They take different artists who specialize in Jazz and downtempo electronica to create beats to enjoy and relax to.
4. Cameron Knowler and Eli Winter — Folk — (Six spins on “Strawberry Milk” off 2021’s “Anticipation.”) In Cameron Knowler’s own words, he “is multi-instrumentalist, educator and recording artist who specializes in jazz, bluegrass and old time music forms.” He is based out of Los Angeles. Eli Winter is a musician and writer based in Chicago. They make music separately but collaborated to produce the album “Anticipation” in 2021.
5. ill peach — Alt/Indie — (Five spins on “UP UP AND AWAY” off 2021’s “Excuse Us While We Find Our Minds.”) Jess Corazza and Pat Morrissey, who have known each other since they went to high school together, are the Los Angeles duo making up ill peach. “Excuse Us While We Find Our Minds” is their debut EP, featuring songs like “GUM” and “UP UP AND AWAY” The sound of the project is digital, gritty and alternative.
6. Lake Street Dive — Rock — (Five spins on “Same Old News” off 2021’s “Obviously.”) “Obviously” is the fifth studio album by quintet Lake Street Dive. They describe their song arrangements as “disarmingly cheerful”, though their lyrics are often heavy with political innuendo. For example, track five on the album “Making Do” is about the younger generation, who must live by different environmental, political and societal/economic expectations than those before them.
7. Warung — Electronic — (Five spins on “Sinuous” off 2021’s “Sinuous EP.”) Aaron Hopkins & Dillon Ames are the duo behind the electronic music project, Warung. On their Soundcloud page, they reveal that “while riding mopeds through busy Bali intersections, one half of this duo was intrigued by an Indonesian word that appeared on almost every street corner – ‘Warung.'” It’s a word for a small, family-run business. They decided on that concept for the drive behind the sound of their project.
8. bathtub cig — Alt/Indie — (Four spins on “My Friend” off 2021’s “bed.”) In her own words, “Bathtub cig is the intimate depression pop project of Hilary James. Born in a Minneapolis bedroom the spring of 2017, (the project) is an honest attempt at coping with her long struggle with mental health. She is joined by Dave Power on drums, Jordan Bleau on guitar and Adelyn Strei on bass and harmony.” Their newest EP is called “bed,” released in 2021.
9. Cartalk — Alt/Indie — (Four spins on “Driveway” off 2020’s “Pass Like Pollen.”) As mentioned on their Spotify, “though officially on the scene since 2017, Chuck Moore’s solo project Cartalk has been years in the making.” The artist’s name came from a late night text to a dear friend, which stated, “Love our car talks.” Cartalk describes its sound as something that “lingers like a set of fingerprints on the dashboard.” Their most recent release is 2021’s single, “Anyone.”
10. Django Django — Rock — (Four spins on “Right The Wrongs” off 2021’s “Glowing In The Dark.”) With no shortage of range, Wikipedia identifies Django Django as “art rock, neo-psychedelia, electronica” and more. The band formed in London in 2009 after members met at the Edinburgh College of Art. It’s made up of quartet David Maclean as their drummer and producer, Vincent Neff on vocals and guitar, Jimmy Dixon as bassist and Tommy Grace on synth.
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