KCSU’s Songs of the Summer

Written by David Damuth and Brighid Bandel

While campus might quiet down over the summer, KCSU has never been louder. DJs and staff escape the heat by spending their free time in the station discovering the songs that will soundtrack their summer. Whether it’s new music or reemerging classics, summer is a defining time in how we look back on the music of the year. We’ve put together a playlist of our station faves that are songs which are perfect for poolside lounging and night drives with you friends. We will also be breaking down some of our personal favorite tracks on the playlist.

Full playlist included at the end.


1.“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush – Pop – Hounds of Love

Kate Bush has seen a truly remarkable amount of attention this summer due to the re-emergence of her song “Running Up that Hill (A Deal With God)”. The lead single off her 1985 masterpiece Hounds of Love has long been considered a classic of 1980s art pop, but it has been given a new level of popularity due to its use in Season 4 of the hit show Stranger Things. As a result, it peaked at Number 3 on the Billboard Top 100 this summer, eclipsing its mark of Number 30 set in 1985. The song has always been spellbinding, with its marching drum beat and mysterious synths laying the way to a truly remarkable vocal and lyrical performance by Bush. It will make a nighttime walk to 7/11 feel like the most important thing in the world.


2. “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy – R&B – Gemini Rights

Steve Lacy made his return to music this past June, with his lead single off of his new album “Bad Habit,” becoming an instant hit. There’s something about a song being all over your TikTok FYP(For You Page if you’re not on TikTok …) that makes it an everlasting tune in your head. The lyrics, “I wish I knew you wanted me,” are something almost everyone can relate to– a missed opportunity of love. This song is upbeat enough to be a go to shower song or a song for anytime honestly, it’s also a song who’s lyrics you can scream at the top of your lungs on the floor of your bedroom: a sad, lyrical, song with a catchy hook, beat, and chorus. This is the song of the summer.


3. “BIZCOCHITO” by Rosalía – Pop – MOTOMAMI

Rosalía made her triumphant return to music this year with her new album MOTOMAMI, the Spanish star’s third full length album, with a major highlight “BIZCOCHITO”. A cool and swaggering track, Rosalía effortlessly flows over the beat with lyrics that reaffirm her status as a truly singular force in the music industry. The track has gained a surge in popularity this summer following a meme format of her performing the song live. In the clip, Rosalía can be seen confidently posing with a hand on her hip and aggressively chewing a piece of gum while glaring at the crowd over the skittering intro of the song. It makes sense why she’s doing it, since the song feels like a pep-talk that will help you stand up tall no matter what.


4. “Charmed” by Σtella and Redinho – Alt/Indie – Up and Away

The up and coming Greek artist Σtella (pronounced Stella) recently signed to SubPop and debuted her second album, Up and Away, this past May. When this song was sent to us, I listened to it roughly 6 times a day. The acoustic guitar is hypnotic, and Σtella mixes her Greek roots with folk, indie classic songwriting to make you addicted. This song feels like running through a sunflower field during sunset barefoot, but also falling in love. A perfect song for your hot summer nights.


5. “Just Say Play” by Jerry Paper – Alt/Indie – Free Time

Jerry Paper has been a fixture of the underground indie scene for a while, and they are sure to make new fans with their carefree single “Just Say Play”. The song seems to be about letting go of the restraints we may feel in life and realizing the freedom of being yourself. With the jolly guitar line, calming flutes, and killer sax solo at the end, Paper creates a world where despite personal struggles, you can always break free to do whatever you want. It is the perfect song to put on in the middle of a long summer road trip to see what the country has to offer.


6. “Brazil” by Declan McKenna – Alt/Indie – What Do You Think About the Car?

The song “Brazil” by Declan McKenna originally came out in 2017, but resurfaced this summer through becoming a popular sound to use on TikTok. The surfer rock indie hit has become a song that many want to remember their summer with. Whether this is by creating montages of their best summer videos or blasting it with all the windows rolled down screaming it at the top of your lungs with all your friends, the song will quite literally transport you to Brazil. For me personally, the electric guitar riff gets stuck in my head almost everyday. The breakdown at the bridge makes you feel like you’re in a crowd of music lovers forgetting about the worries of life. Though not a new song, “Brazil” will certainly define many people’s summers.

Listen to the full “KCSU’s Songs of the Summer ‘22” playlist below!