Berlin artist nudges out local artist for top spinning

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Music Director

“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.

*= Brand new to the charts this week!

1.*Ben Böhmer — Electronic — (Seven spins on “Beyond Beliefs” off 2021’s “Begin Again.”) 28-year old producer and performer Ben Böhmer has been making waves in the electronic scene out of Berlin, Germany, and worldwide. He released his debut album, “Breathing,” with major house label Anjunadeep at the end of 2019, which now has over 50 million streams. His second album, “Begin Again,” was released in September of 2021 and was written while he and his fiancé were separated during the global travel ban, leading to emotional soundscapes and creative themes of longing and uncertainty.

2. People In General (Local) — Alt/Indie — (Six spins on “Boolin” off 2019’s “Piglet.”) As stated on their Spotify, “People in General is a four piece jazz-pop band from Fort Collins, Colorado. Before the formation of the band, the band had a deep history playing with each other in various ensembles. Formed in 2019, People in General has pop roots and weaves together anything from jazz to math-rock on top to add complex textures to the compositions. The current lineup consists of Abe Dashnaw on Guitar and vocals, Matan Birnbaum on keys, Ethan Christi on drums, and Ben Eberle on bass”.

3. Turnstile — Rock — (Six spins on “BLACKOUT” 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.”

4. Attack on Venus (Local) — Rock — (Five spins on 2019’s single, “Animation Suspended.”) Attack on Venus is a rock band local to Fort Collins. Bandwagon Magazine called them “Your local galatic explorers,” noting that their live performances are “very much a sonic exploration.” Since 2015, they’ve released one album and a number of singles and EPs, the most recent being 2021’s “Splitting the Difference Between Anxiety and a Personality Disorder.”

5. Benchwarmers — Alt/Indie — (Four spins on “Hemp Cigarette” off 2021’s “Ode To Friends.”) Benchwarmers is an alt pop/punk band from Los Angeles. On their Spotify, which garners around 60 listeners a month, they’ve posted only two EPs: 2020’s “Benchwarming,” and 2021’s “Ode To Friends.”

6. Clairo — Alt/Indie — (Four spins on “Amoeba” off 2021’s “Sling.”) Claire Cottrill, also known as Clairo, released her first album, “Immunity,” in 2019, which was co-produced by former Vampire Weekend band member (and KCSU favorite), Rostam. An interview with Vogue explains that while “Immunity” was an exploration of the experiences she’d collected as a teenager, her latest release, 2021’s “Sling,” delves into the new chapter of her early 20s. As impressive as her first album, “Sling” was co-produced by Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, who is also a songwriter for some of today’s biggest pop acts.

7. Collyns (Local) — Pop — (Four spins on “Magazine Love” off 2017’s “Collyns.”) As her name implies, Collyns is a local solo artist who seems to draw particular inspiration from her hometown, such as her song titled “South Lemay.” She draws inspiration from genres like EDM, folk and indie. She collaborated on her most recent single, “Don’t Feel Bad,” with the help of Nashville producer Jeremy Claudio, but otherwise writes, records and produces her own music.

8. *Drake — Hip Hop/Rap — (Two spins on “The Remorse” off 2021’s “Certified Lover Boy.”) 35 year-old Aubrey Drake Graham is a rapper originally from Ontario, Canada. He started to gain recognition in the early 2000s when he starred on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and during that time began releasing mixtapes, like 2006s “Room For Improvement.” Flash forward fifteen years, and he’s now one of the world’s most well-known rappers. Though KCSU finds Drake’s personal behavior questionable, his professional career is impressive, with Spotify marking him as the ninth most streamed artist in the world. His most recent release is 2021’s “Certified Lover Boy.” 

9. *Feng Suave — Alt/Indie — (Two spins on “Tomb For Rockets” off 2021’s “So Much For Gardening.”) Dutch songwriters and producers Daniel De Jong and Daniel Elvis Schoemaker created the recording project Feng Suave. Last.fm describes their sound as “reminiscent of bygone times when vocals are drowned in reverb and instruments are seemingly recorded under water. (…) At times the music sounds more like an audacious attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence rather than two boys playing pop songs.” Their most recent release is 2021’s “So Much for Gardening” EP.

10. French 79 — Electronic — (Two spins on “Quartz” off 2021’s “Joshua.”) French 79 began performing in French territory, assuming his music reach would stay there. But he quickly became an international star. According to his Spotify, “the single ‘Between the Buttons,’ a contemplative, synth-heavy gem enhanced by a beautiful arpeggiator, excepted from his first EP, ‘Angel,’ instantly placed him on the list of today’s most important producers.” Since 2014, he’s released three full-length albums and several EPs, most recently 2021’s “The Unreal Story of Lou Reed.”

The music director can be reached at music@kcsufm.com.