KCSU’s top 10 songs of the year DJ-athon special!

This weeks special charts include, “CMAT,” “Steve Lacy,” “Amber Smokes,” “TENNIS,” and more!

KCSUs top 10 songs of the year DJ-athon special!

This week’s special addition “KCSU’s Weekly Gems Countdown” is showcasing our top 10 songs from this year (so far) in honor of our semi-annual DJ-Athon fundraiser. Tune in this week (Nov. 7-11) to hear special edition shows as well as a 24-hour broadcast of live DJs on Friday. To view the top 10 songs from this week & our top adds, read all the way through! This article is posted weekly on Sundays and discussed on their show “KCSU Weekly Gem Countdown” which airs every Monday from 11-noon. During the show, you can learn more about each musician or band before tuning in to the weekly gems countdown 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.

1.Tennis (Local) — Alt/Indie — (110 spins of “100 Lovers” off of their 2014 album “Ritual in Repeat”) Tennis is a local indie-pop duo that consists of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore. According to the duo’s Spotify, the pair’s music is “swooning ’50s pop melancholy with smooth-and-easy 70’s soft rock in a … calming fashion that matches the sailing trips that provide them with inspiration.”

The duo returned from a busy touring schedule to record their third album in autumn of 2014. From their Spotify, they explain that the album is “more accessible and diverse than previous efforts.

2. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Alt/Indie – (99 spins of “Evilest Man” off of the 2022 album “Omnium Gatherum” King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard formed in 2011 in Melbourne, Australia, “by a group of friends who jammed frequently, then decided on a whim to play a show, the lineup consisted of vocalist/guitarist Stu Mackenzie, harmonica player/singer Ambrose Kenny-Smith, guitarists Cook Craig and Joey Walker, bassist Lucas Skinner, and dual drummers Michael Cavanagh and Eric Moore.”

“Evilest Man” is the seventh track on King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s 20th album Omnium Gatherum. According to Genius, “It serves to decry the misinformation spread by the various news outlets held by the Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch.”

3. Fleetwood Mac – Rock – (92 spins of “Rhiannon” off of the 1977 album “Rumors”) Fleetwood Mac is one of the most notorious bands from the 1970’s – helping define the rock genre during that era. The original members of Fleetwood Mac included Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, and Jeremy Spencer. Later members included Danny Kirwan, Christine McVie, Bob Welch, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham.

“Rhiannon” is considered as Stevie Nicks’ signature song. According to Genius, it is “one of the many classic hits produced by the group in the mid ‘70s, constantly voted as one of the top all time 500. Based on the story of a legendary old Welsh witch, Goddess.

4. Amber Smoke – Hip Hop/Rap – (91 spins of “Money Orders” off of the 2020 single release “Money. Orders”) According to her Spotify, Smoke is a “rising international superstar.” Originally from Houston, she also raps, sings, writes music and acts.

Her music covers “many relatable issues head-on, like social injustice, difficulties finding love … and navigating being a young strong woman in the industry willing to pave her own way without compromising her beliefs,” according to her Spotify.

This upbeat, true hip-hop tune allows Smoke to claim her place as a strong woman in the music industry.

5. CMAT – Pop – (89 spins of “I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!” off of the 2022 album “If My Wife New I’d Be Dead”) CMAT 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.”

6. Steve Lacy – R&B – (89 spins of “Bad Habit” off of the 2022 album “Gemini Rights”) Alternative R&B artist Steve Lacy is in a presumably small class of musicians who have co-produced a Grammy-nominated album while in high school. He first joined the band The Internet in 2014 as a guitarist. The artist from Compton California, who also created all his music on Garage Band, has won a multitude of awards and is now critically acclaimed.

“Bad Habit,” the lead single off his popular new album, “Gemini Rights”, tells a story many people can relate to. The song is about reflecting on an attraction to someone, and what it could have been if he had expressed how it felt to the person he is singing about.

7. Mitski – Alt/Indie – (84 spins of “The Only Heartbreaker” off of the 2022 album “Laurel Hell”) Orion Sun, 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.”

In a statement for Rolling Stone, 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.”

8. The Linda Lindas – Rock – (80 spins of “Racist, Sexist Boy” off of the 2022 album “Growing Up”) The Linda Lindas are an all-girl rock band from Los Angeles, consisting of Bela Salazar, Eloise Wong, Lucia de la Garza, and Mila de la Garza. At a young age, the band has already made a name for themselves, opening for Paramore on their 2022 Fall Tour.

“Racist Sexist Boy” is about a real experience Mila had when a boy in her class was told to “stay away from her” due to her ethnicity during the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Mila told Genius that “Before, it was more of an angry song, directed at one person. But now it’s more a prideful song about bringing people together. Telling people that they’re not alone, because other people go through that stuff too.”

9. Renata Zeiguer – Alt/Indie – (79 spins of “Sunset Boulevard” off of the 2022 album “Picnic in the Dark”) Zeiguer creates a “sonic dreamworld infused with magical realism that tells an extremely personal narrative” in her album, according to Spotify. She explains that the album is integrating her child-self into her adult life with immense compassion and enlightenment. It is not only an album of exploration but one of transformation, healing and self-actualization, all told through a courageous journey towards that extremely uncomfortable yet fertile liminal space between familiarity and uncertainty.

As described by Stereogum, Sunset Boulevard is shimmering but shadowy, channeling a certain era of haunting old theatrics as Zeiguer’s voice stays high and airy.

10. MUNA – Alt/Indie – (76 spins of “Anything But Me” off of the 2022 album, “MUNA”) MUNA is an all female trio that includes lead singer/songwriter Katie Gavin, guitarist/producer Naomi McPherson and guitarist Josette Maskin. The trio was signed by Phoebe Bridger’s record label Saddest Factory Records, to release their debut album “About Me.”

“Anything But Me” was the second lead single off of the trios self titled album “MUNA.” According to Genius, the song describes a story that “sees them hope their ex-lover gets everything, hope they do in fact change, but refuse to stick around just on that hope.”


Top 3 Adds this week (we look forward to these charting!)

1. “Crab Park” by Atta Boy

2. “Chrome Bull” by Duckwrth

3. “Air Guitar” by SOBS

Top 10 Songs from last week (10/31)

1. “Oh Caroline” by the 1975

2. “See Me” by The Velveteers (LOCAL) 

3. “Space Cowboy” by flipturn

4. “Crop Circles” by Odie Leigh

5. “Something You Know” by Blood Orange

6. “Utopia” by Amy Reid

7. “Body Paint” by Arctic Monkeys

8. “The Car” by Arctic Monkeys

9. “Wild About Harry” by Babe Rainbow

10. “Parasite” by Bibi Club


The Music Directors can be reached at music@kcsufm.com.