We’re back, charts from spring break!

This week’s charts include, “Samia,” “Robot Tennis Club,” “Fousheé,” and more!

Were back, charts from spring break!

Brighid Bandel, Music Director

We’re back from our break! “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 11-noon. 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 this week!

1. SZA– r&b – (10 spins of “Good Days” off of the 2022 album, “SOS”) SZA, real name being Solána Imani Rowe, 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.”

“Good Days,” was initially released in 2020, and personally was the light for me during the pandemic. It became a huge hit and single for SZA and was later put on her third studio album, “SOS.”

2. Kenny Beats – hip hop/rap – (8 spins of “So They Say” off of the 2022 album, LOUIE”) Kenny Beats is a notorious producer in the music world who finally made his own album this year. According to GQ, “he’s an in-demand, cross-genre producer, a gifted multi-instrumentalist, and as of a few weeks ago, a critically-acclaimed solo artist with a debut album ‘LOUIE’ that’s a complex tribute to his father.”

“So They Say” is the fourth track off the debut album, and has a catchy beat with lyrics talking about his father, Louie.

3. Fousheé – alt/indie – (8 spins of “supernova” off of the 2022 album, “softCORE”) Fousheé is a singer and songwriter from New Jersey who is known for carving a new path in the R&B genre. Fousheé was even named the “Hip Hop & R&B Rookie of the Month” in March of 2021 by Billboard. However, even though Fousheé is known for her R&B, this new album explores a whole other side of her – punk rock. NME explains that, “her new project ‘Softcore’ is bristling with a heavier sound: while it retains some of the soft acoustic moments and touching openness found in ‘Time Machine,’ it’s much more influenced by post-punk, metal and hardcore than any of her previous work.”

“supernova” is the lead single off her new album. Fousheé explained this song to Stereogum by saying, “I think it’s a reflection of my taste. I get really bored very easily, so the music that I listen to is all over the place and a reflection of my personality. If I’ve been writing a lot of sappy love songs, eventually I’ll feel this urge to revolt and then write something polar opposite to that. I love variety. It keeps me entertained.”

4. Robot Tennis Club (local) – alt/indie – (7 spins of “Goatman” off of the 2022 album, “If These Walls Could Talk, You Wouldn’t Listen”) Robot Tennis Club is a CSU student band that just released their debut album! Nina Dorighi and Laura Steadman met in their sophomore year of high school and put together the band after their music teacher told them to start one. Later, when Nina came to CSU, they added in Eli Schulz, finishing the trio. On their website, the trio explains “Laura had been writing songs since middle school, aspiring to the idea that someday they could help her connect with people. Having never written songs before, Nina stepped right up to the plate with lyrics, melodies and guitar parts that she would sing so that Laura could play.”

“Goatman” is the fourth track off the debut album and describes the anger of someone from the past taking something from you but not realizing how much they hurt you.

5. Afternoon Bike Ride – alt/indie – (5 spins of “Summertime” off of the 2022 album, “Glossover”) Afternoon Bike Ride is a recent personal favorite discovery of mine. Their music is reminiscent of those spring Sundays that begin to feel like summer and you spend all day in the cool sun. The band consists of Lia, David and Éloi, and they describe their music as an audio diary. “Summertime” is the third track off their new album, “Glossover,” and truly makes you feel like you are running around your hometown on a hot July night.

6. Paramore – alt/indie – (5 spins of “C’est Comme Ca” off of the 2023 album, “This is Why”) Paramore is another household name on our charts this week. Consisting of Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Josh Farro, the band became a smash hit during the revival of pop punk in the early 2000s. The band took a a hiatus after their 2017 record, “After Laughter,” but recently came back in late 2022 to drop their first single off their new album, “This is Why.”

“C’est Comme Ca,” meaning ‘it is what it is,’ was the third single the band released. On Genius, Paramore explains that “the song takes direct influence from Talking Heads’ new wave and post-punk sound. For the verses, Williams was inspired by bands Dry Cleaning and Yard Act to adopt a spoken-singing style, also known as Sprechgesang.”

7. The 1975 – Alt/Indie – (5 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.

8. Backseat Lovers – Alt/Indie – (4 spins of “Growing/Dying” off of the 2022 album, “Waiting to Spill”) The Backseat Lovers are from Heber City Sandy, and Ogden Utah. The members include Jonas Swanson, Joshua Harmon, KJ Ward, Juice Welch. The band gained attention when their song “Kilby Girl” became popular.

“Growing/Dying” was the first single off their new album “Waiting to Spill.” According to the band in an interview with Melodic Magazine, “‘When We Were Friends’ was our first attempt at making an album, and it was essentially recording one song, selling some t-shirts at a show the next month, and being able to record another song. Upon finishing it, we were quickly filled with a strong desire to make something that really flowed together, with each song intentionally placed, creating a cohesion that spans the whole record. Overall though, ‘Waiting to Spill’ really feels like a continuation, the next chapter of our lives.”

  9. Samia – alt/indie – (4 spins of “Mad at Me” off of the 2022 single release, “Mad at Me”) Samia is an alternative pop singer who has been making music since 2017 and has a new album, “Honey,” that came out early in 2023. “Mad At Me” is the second single off the new album, and discusses worries she has after a fight with a significant other. With not a lot of information on her, Samia keeps her mysterious identity to her music.


10.Indigo Sparke – Alt/Indie – (3 spins of “Golden Ribbons” off of the 2022 album, “Hysteria”) Indigo Sparke is an Australian based artist that “writes with a rare and reflective power, creating music that builds and bursts as she examines love, loss, grief, and a newly realized rage,” according to her Spotify. Born in Australia and now based in New York, Indigo established herself in the Sydney music scene with her 2016 EP “Nightbloom.” She has toured with Big Thief, had a song featured on the TV show Cloudy River, and performed across Australia and the U.S.

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