Death Valley Girls enter and others stick on the charts

This week’s charts include, “Little Simz,” “Death Valley Girls,” “SZA,” & more!

Death Valley Girls enter and others stick on the charts

Brighid Bandel, Music Director

“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. Little Simz – hip hop/rap – (12 spins of “Gorilla” off of the 2023 album, “NO THANK YOU”) Simbiatu “Simbi” Abisola Abiola Ajikawo is a British singer, songwriter, rapper and actress. Simz is bringing a new light to rap – Bristish rap, in specific – with her new flow and unique beats. According to her Spotify, “Hailed as an instant classic, it rocketed Simz from cult hero to international superstar overnight, landing at No. 4 in the UK Official Albums Chart, earning her four BRIT nominations, with nods for Artist of the Year, Mastercard Album of the Year, Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act and Best New Artist, and making her the first female to sell out three headline shows at the legendary Brixton Academy.”

“Gorilla” is the second track on the album, and the most popular not only here at the station, but on Spotify.


2. Paramore – alt/indie – (10 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.”


3. Robot Tennis Club (local) – alt/indie – (9 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.


4. Afternoon Bike Ride – alt/indie – (9 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.


5. Kenny Beats – hip hop/rap – (7 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.”



6. Surf Curse – indie surf rock – (7 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 – 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.


7. Suki Waterhouse – alt/indie – (6 spins of “Johanna” off of the 2022 EP, “Milk Teeth”) Suki Waterhouse is an actress and new singer from London with a debut album coming out early in 2022. According to her Spotify, Waterhouse “catalogs the most intimate, formative, and significant moments of her life through songs.”

“Milk Teeth” was an EP that came out in late 2022 that was a collection of her most popular singles with two new ones. “Johanna” was initially released in 2019 and follows a mysterious person who we all want to know – Johanna.


8. *Death Valley Girls – rock – (5 spins of “Magic Powers” off of the 2023 album, “Islands in the Sky”) Death Valley Girls is a Los Angeles based band that describes “their music as ‘California doom boogie,’ [they] are a garage punk band whose tough, fuzzy sound melds bad-trip psychedelia and biker-soundtrack drama with lyrics celebrating a rich variety of questionable behavior.” The band’s sound stems from ’70s rock and consists of Patty Schemel, her brother Larry Schemel, bassist Rachel Orosco, and lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden.

“Magic Powers” is the second track off the band’s 4th album and describes the desire to open up and change as a person, feeling like you have super magical powers.


9. Tennis (Local) — Alt/Indie — (4 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 ’70s 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.


10. SZA – r&b – (4 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.”

The Music Directors can be reached at