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New artists fill top 10, Turnstile bumps Empty Hollow from no. 1


“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.

*All but on of the top 10 artists this week are BRAND NEW at KCSU!*

1. Turnstile — Rock — (Seven spins on “TLC (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION)” off 2021’s “Glow On”.) Turnstile, formed in 2010, has been on Baltimore’s rock scene since 2011 with their first release, “Pressure to Succeed”. Since then, they’ve released several well-received albums, earning nods from NPR, The New Yorker and more, leading to 2021’s highly anticipated “GLOW ON”, which Pitchfork categorized as “Best new music.” The band describes its brand as “youth-minded, youth driven hardcore punk.”

2. Empty Hollow — Rock — (Five spins on “Light Me Up” off 2021’s “Firestorm.”) With heavy guitar riffs and buzzing vocals, Empty Hollow is the garage band you’ve been missing. Its only release, 2021’s “Firestorm,” seemed inspired by the likes of alternative rock bands like Nirvana or The Smashing Pumpkins, who brought out the genre of grunge in the early 90’s.

3. Joshua Dairen (Local) — R&B/Soul — (Five spins on 2021’s single “You Are.”) As stated on his Spotify: “Dubbed by Denver’s 303 Magazine as one of ‘Colorado’s artists you should know,’ … Joshua Dairen is an R&B artist (originally from Auburn, Alabama, who) began his singer-songwriter journey in 2018. With a musical background that comes from Soul, R&B, and Pop, he incorporates elements of each in soulful arrangements of his own personal life experiences to create a unique, warm sound that flows between different genres.”  His latest single is “You Are,” from 2021.

4. Zeph — Pop — (Four spins on “friends or not” off 2021’s “scared of everything.”) Social media star and musician Zephani Jong, “Zeph” has been releasing pop music since her 2018 single, “Forever and Always.” She often posts singing videos and updates of her work on her Instagram, where she is an active presence. Her sound mixes strings, soft vocals and sweet bedroom pop.

5. Maple Syrup — Electronic — (Four spins on “Sunbeams” off 2021’s Bluewerks Vol. 3: Heatwaves.”) Simply stated in their own words, Maple Syrup has been “cooking smooth beats since 2013.” Their song “Sunbeams” 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.” The band takes different artists who specialize in Jazz and downtempo electronica to create beats to enjoy and relax to.

6. Turnstile — Rock — (Four spins on “UNDERWATER BOI” off 2021’s “Glow On.”) 

7. A Carousel Moon — Alt/Indie — (Three spins on “Mornings” off 2021’s “Foxy Vol. 1.”) Friends Michael Esserman and Eric Sosler came together in 2021 to create A Carousel Moon. The duo is determined to lean into whatever genre that calls to them at the moment, from Pop to Electronic Blues and Jazz or, most recently, Indie-Dance. They’ve released two EPs since their debut this year: “Foxy Vol. 1” and “Out Of Sequence.”

8. Bad Bad Hats — Alt/Indie — (Three spins on “Gloria Love” off 2021’s “Walkman.”) From their website: “Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their music is rooted in classic pop songwriting with elements of nineties rock influence and an overall lightheartedness. Kerry (guitar, vocals) Chris (bass) and Con (drums) have toured the country several times in their trusty minivan, sampling the best local cuisine along the way.”

9. Burrito Brown — Electronic — (Two spins on “Cheezy Does It” off 2021’s “Bluewerk’s Vol. 3: Heat Wave”.) An artist with a habit for naming their songs after food, Burrito Brown’s “Cheezy Does It” made it onto the “Bluewerks Vol. 3: Heat Wave” album, an electronic compilation project.

10. Catamaran — Alt/Indie — (Two spins on 2021’s single, “Pink Hair”.) Stephen Glenn (vocals and guitar) and Tom Theall (drums) met and formed Catamaran in 2010. As they say on their Spotify, after their meeting, “an obsession for sharing and discussing music soon turned into acoustic jam sessions. A grooving surf sound began to emerge, with guitar tones that range from pristine to colorfully mangled. Catamaran released their first EP … in 2014 along with the addition of Chris Escarfullery (bass, keys) who joined the group full-time.”

The music director can be reached at