Alternative dominates the charts; CMAT, Mitski claim spots

This week’s charts include new artists EXES and Orion Sun among many returning artists for the top 10 songs played this week.


Music Directors

“KCSU’s Top 10 Spinning This Week” is written by the KCSU Music Directors and describes the top artists that your local 90.5 FM DJs are playing this week! This article is posted weekly on Sundays and discussed on their show “KCSU Weekly Gem Countdown” which airs every Monday from 12-1 p.m. During the show, you can learn more about each musician or band before tuning in to the top 10 countdowns on Monday from 11-noon, in which the music directors present to you the latest songs topping the charts and breaking down each song’s sound and feel.”

*=Brand new to the charts!

1. Dancing on Tables — Alt/Indie — (9 spins of “Twenty” off of the 2021 EP release “PLAY PLAY PLAY”)

The Scotland-based pop-indie-rock band consists of Robbie, Callum, Gregor, Hamish and Reece. According to their Spotify, they all met in school and have grown “from playing friend’s parties and school halls, to supporting Catfish and the Bottlemen as part of their UK arena tour.” The band has over 20,000 listeners on Spotify and continue to grow their career to this day.

2. Mitski — Alt/Indie — (8 spins of “The Only Heartbreaker” off of the 2022 album release “Laurel Hell”)

Mitski is on our charts twice! (shocker) In a statement for RollingStone, Mitski explained that “The Only Heartbreaker” is about, “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame. It could simply be about that, but I also wanted to depict something sadder beneath the surface, that maybe the reason you’re always the one making mistakes is because you’re the only one trying.”

3. Hippo Campus — Alt/Indie — (8 spins of “Boys” off of the 2022 album release “LP3”)

Hippo Campus formed in 2013, with members that include Jake Luppen, Nathan Stocker, DeCarlo Jackson, Zach Sutton and Whistler Allen. Originally from Minnesota, the indie-rock band emerged to the scene with its EP “Bashful Creatures.” According to their Spotify, “although the five-piece has been friends since middle school and put out a number of studio releases since its inception, it’s the new record “LP3,” that’s the most honest portrait of who Hippo Campus is.”

4. CMAT — Pop — (7 spins of “I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!” off of the 2022 album release, “If My Wife New I’d Be Dead”)

CMAT claims a spot again! CMAT, short for Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, is an Irish country/pop singer and songwriter. During an interview with NME Magazine, CMAT explains her style as “Dolly Parton meets Weird Al Yankovic, mixed with Katy Perry.”

CMAT’s third single, “I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!” describes the feeling of having no control over your life. CMAT explains to Genius, that the song is “mainly about urban isolation — about having all the freedom and resources to do whatever you want but still choosing to do nothing out of deeply-embedded social anxiety and detachment from your own emotions.”

5. Mitski — Alt/Indie — (6 spins of “Valentine, Texas” off of the 2022 album release “Laurel Hell”)

Mitski is an indie rock singer and songwriter who was born in Japan and moved around to several countries before she finally settled in New York for college. NPR describes Mitski’s writing as “confessional and funny, boastful and self-deprecating, poetic and profane all at once.”

According to Genius, “the opening song of Mitski’s ‘Laurel Hell’ — ‘Valentine, Texas’ — is actually a real small town in Texas.” In an interview with Pitchfork, Mitski explained the inspiration for the song came “a long time ago, in a vast expanse of America, I was in a motel room … I saw my first dust devils, and the clouds and everything were just so beautiful, and that’s where the second verse comes from.”

6. ADOY — Alt/Indie — (5 spins of “Antihero” off of the 2021 album release “her”)

ADOY is an alternative band from South Korea. According to the group’s Spotify, “ADOY formed in mid 2016, when they all met within the Seoul indie music community.”

According to Korean indie, “‘Antihero’ is grounded in its production and effects but has this dreamy aura around itself. The band blooms on this rock-infused track, showing a great palette of genres for an electronic pop band. ‘Antihero’ is rooted in an illusion and the pursuit of happiness, referencing Hollywood and admitting that the life you’re idolizing is a movie in your head.”

7. Ariel Hutchins — Country — (5 spins of “Wine Won’t Work” off of the 2022 single release “Wine Won’t Work”)

Ariel Hutchins is a country singer/songwriter from Texas. According to her website, “her music celebrates her West Texas heritage and embodies her love of country music past and present.” “Wine Won’t Work” was Hutchins’ first-ever single to be released and was “the first debut release by a female Texas artist to top the Texas Country Charts at number one.”

Hutchins explained to Pro Country that she was shocked her single went number one: “Quite literally it meant everything, and then the challenge became one of putting out more great, chart-topping music. I don’t focus on the charting factor really now; I just want to do right by each song in the studio because our music lineup is amazing and it’s my responsibility to deliver it all! I’m loving this ride! What a dream!”

8. *EXES — Alt/Indie — (5 spins of “Clapping on the TV” off of the 2022 album release “Don’t Give Up On Me Now”)

EXES is an indie pop duo that consists of Allie McDonald and producer Mike Derenzo. According to the Ones to Watch, the duo is “driven by post-youth nostalgia and people of their past … (offering) a unique experience to every listener, inviting you to their whimsically romantic world.”

The song “Clapping on the TV” off of the duo’s debut album is a song about being lost. McDonald explains to Genius, that “it’s a song for the misfits, the loners and the kids who don’t want to grow up and give up on their dreams. It’s also an ode to paid audience members — I learned that gig is NOT as easy as it seems. Long hours, cold studios and lots of fake laughing.”

9. Neil Frances — Electronic — (5 spins of “every day with you.” off of the 2022 album release “There Is No Neil Frances”)

Neil Frances is an electronic pop duo consisting of Jordan Feller and Marc Gilfry that came together in 2016. Feller explains on their Spotify, “I was a producer first and musician/songwriter second, so I can often see when Marc’s head has exploded and then take that idea to the next step. The most fun stuff is when there are surprises and accidents. There’s a lot of benefit for both of us in that working relationship.”

“There is No Neil Frances” is the duo’s debut album with 14 tracks included. According to Earmilk, the album’s “concept follows the dreams of an insect looking for its true purpose in a utopian dreamscape.” The duo currently has over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

10. *Orion Sun — R&B/Soul — (4 spins of “pressure” off of the 2022 album release “Getaway”)

Orion Sun, Tiffany Majette, is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Philadelphia. Sun explained her music roots in an interview with Billboard, “I sang in church. I was leading youth worship sometimes. I was really enthralled by it. It’s the first music that moved me [to tears] … That put the music seed in me to the point where it’s like, I don’t want to go to church, but I go to church to hear the music.”

In an interview with Mom and Pop Music, Sun also described the vision behind her new EP, Getaway. “Seeing my community plagued with COVID simultaneously led me to feel that the world was a dangerous place to be. This EP was born from that. The yearning to get out and get away. The want to learn more, to grow more, to love more and to evolve.”

The Music Directors can be reaches at