A special KCSU charts all about love!

This week’s charts include, “Chet Baker,” “Surf Curse,” “Weyes Blood,” and more!

A special KCSU charts all about love!

Brighid Bandel, Music Director

This week’s charts are all about love – typical for the week after Valentine’s Day! KCSU’s “Weekly Gems Countdown” 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 noon-1. During the show, you can learn more about each musician or band before tuning in to the top 10 countdowns on Monday from noon-1, 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 this week!

1.*Chet Baker – jazz – (13 spins of “My Funny Valentine” off of the 1952 single, “My Funny Valentine”) Topping off our charts from the love-filled week is one of the most classic love songs! Chesney Henry Baker was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist – he is known for his innovations in cool jazz which led to his nickname “Prince of Cool.” The song “My Funny Valentine” has appeared on over 1300 albums, being preformed by over 600 artists – but Baker was the first artist to record the song. This song became Baker’s “theme song, omnipresent on his club & concert sets.” This was KCSU’s favorite song this Valentine’s Day!

2. *Devon – alt pop – (10 spins of “OUT OF CONTEXT” off of the 2022 EP, “SOMEWHERE IN NOWHERELAND”) Devon is a rising alternative pop artist from Canada that just dropped their first soul, pop, and alternative inspired EP. The release shines a light on the warmth and depth of the his voice, the hints of a candied brass section, smooth percussion and gospel-style backing.

Elaborating on the track, Devon explains, “’OUT OF CONTEXT’ was born out of the second session I did with Bath natives Bad Sounds who are close collaborators with me. The song started out on the guitar with those chords you hear in the chorus and then we took it to the keyboard which gave it a souly feel. The song touches on the fear of being trapped in your hometown with no way out. Being stuck in that local routine, never doing anything outside of the local norms for fear of being judged. It also touches on how judge worthy a local community can sometimes be to things that aren’t typically the normal thing to do. It’s a love-hate ode to the hometown in a way.”

3. SZA – r&b – (10 spins of “Kill Bill” off of the 2022 album, “SOS”)  SZA is one of the most influential R&B singers right now. SZA’s Spotify explains that she “has set herself apart with a vulnerable and casually poetic songwriting style and a voice conveying a multitude of emotions with subtle twists and turns. She established herself with a trio of spaced-out EPs and collaborations with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. She continued her ascent with Ctrl (2017), a Top Ten album that resulted in five Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist.”

“Kill Bill” is the second track off the album. The title references the iconic Kill Bill film duology directed by Quentin Tarantino. As expected, the lyrical content details SZA’s homicidal fantasies about an ex-lover while coinciding with the plot of the movies. This is for the DJs that unfortunately got reminded of their ex this past week.

4. The 1975 – indie pop – (9 spins of “I’m in Love With You” off of the 2022 album, “Being Funny in a Foreign Language”)  The 1975 are a British band from Manchester, England consisting of four members – Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann, Matty Healy and George Daniel. The members of the band met during high school and started playing together in 2002. They went by an array of different names throughout their career, such as Drive Like I Do and Bigsleep, until settling on “The 1975.” The name, “The 1975,” was inspired by a Jack Kerouac poetry book that had “1 June, The 1975” written on the back. During the early days of the band, they would perform punk covers in local clubs until they started to write music themselves.

“I’m in Love With You” is a classic 1975 pop track about love – hence why it was played so much this past week.

5. *Surf Curse – indie surf rock – (8 spins of “Cathy” off of the 2022 album, “Magic Hour”) Surf Curse is an indie rock band from Nevada that consists of Nick Rattigan, Jacob Rubeck, Henry Dillon and Noah Kholl – the band formed in 2013 to begin the new wave of indie surf rock music we did not know we were missing.

“Cathy” is a love song our DJs were playing all week to fit the theme of the holiday. Essentially, it is a love song – it’s about feeling so lucky to be with someone, it feels like an honor to be able to say you love them, almost too good to be true.

6. *The Cure – rock – (7 spins of “Friday I’m in Love” off of the 1992 album, “The Wish”) The Cure – what do we have to say here? They are one of the most notable bands from the 80s to the 90s when you think of rock. The band was formed in West Sussex and had numerous lineup changes since the band’s formation, but guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Robert Smith has remained the only constant member.

Love doesn’t have to be just for people, it can be expressed with things, places, food – and even days of the week! “Friday I’m In Love” is one of The Cure’s most popular songs and for good reason. In an interview with Guitar World, Robert Smith shared, “I remember driving home one Friday afternoon to have the weekend off. And I started to think of this really great chord sequence. I was about 20 minutes away from the studio. So I turned around, went back to the studio and everyone was still there. We actually recorded it that Friday night. So from then on it was always just called “Friday.” Then, when I came to do the words for it, I thought, why don’t I do a song about that Friday feeling? It’s a thing you have at school, and lots of people work at jobs they don’t really enjoy. So that Friday afternoon feeling is something you look forward to.”

7.  *Drugdealer – alt/indie – (6 spins of “Valentine” off of the 2022 album, “Hiding in Plain Sight”) Drugdealer is Michael Collins’ psychedelic rock fantasy turned into a successful side project. It is pretty obvious why he is on our charts this week, his song is literally called Valentine! With that trippy 70s guitar heavy in this album, the track “Valentine” is no different. Drugdealer describes his partner in a very romantic way and admits that it just feels right when they are together!

8.*Turnover – indie pop – (6 spins of “Ain’t Love Heavy ft. Bre Morell” off of the 2022 album, “Myself in the Way”) Turnover is an indie pop band from Virginia Beach whose members consist of brothers Austin Getz and Casey Getz, as well as Danny Dempsey and Nick Rayfield. “Ain’t Love Heavy” is one of those songs for the ones who might be a little bit more heartbroken when it comes to Valentine’s Day – but it is too groovy not to enjoy!

This track is expertly crafted. As expressed by Boolin Tunes’ Sean McCann “It starts with a dreamlike synth that slowly gets new instrumental additions after each stanza, whether it’s the drums kicking in, a new riff, a bouncy synth, or a hauntingly beautiful violin. It ramps every 4 lines until the inclusion of vocalist Austin Getz’s soulful topline. The following verse, Bre’s contribution gets a whole lot of spotlight and deservedly so, as her melodies add a lot to the track while keeping the spirit of it. The track then all comes together in dreampop bliss.”

9. *The Cranberries – indie rock – (6 spins of “Linger” off of the 1993 album, “Everybody Else is Doing it, so Why Can’t We?”) The Cranberries. Where do I start? For me, this is one of my personal favorite bands, which I totally stole from my dad growing up, but has been a frontrunner when it comes to indie rock in the early 90’s. The band consisted of Mike Hogan, Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler, Niall Quinn & the infamous Dolores O’Riordan. Whenever “Linger” is on the charts or somewhere near making top 10, I have to sit and think about how many times I’ve played this song because I truly think it might just be from me. This week is different though, with “Linger” being an underrated hit in the love song field.

Dolores O’Riordan has said that the song was written about her first boyfriend and “being broken-hearted by a love situation. You love somebody but they reject you”. The music was written before she joined the band, and her lyrics replaced the pre-existing ones written by the group’s previous vocalist.

10. *Weyes Blood – alt/indie – (5 spins of “Hearts Aglow” off of the 2022 album, “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow”) Weyes Blood is a rising alternative singer that is known for her powerful ballets that make you transcend in time and get lost in the music. Even though she is just now getting mainstream attention, Blood has been making music since 2007!

Blood’s newest record, “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow” is one of the most aesthetically pleasing albums that came out in 2022 – with the visuals reminiscing Lana Del Rey mixed with a motel neon night in Vegas. In “Hearts Aglow,” a night out with a beloved is enough to stave off the creeping dread of a world in collapse, at least temporarily.


Top Adds from this Week:

  1. Desire, I Want to Turn You by Caroline Polachek (hyper pop and a DJ Moose favorite!)
  2. Cuts & Bruises by Inhaler (pop punk rock)
  3. tripleS by ASSEMBLE (Kpop)

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