The DJ-Athon Effect

This week’s charts include hits like “Hey Ya!,” “I Wanna Be A Cowboy Baby,” “Redbone,’ and more!

The DJ-Athon Effect

Brighid Bandel, Music Director

Since last week was out semi-annual fundraiser, DJ-athon, our charts look a little different. The DJs are notorious for playing very well-known, upbeat favorites around the station – which always affect the charts the following week. This is the DJ-Athon effect. “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 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. Childish Gambino – r&b – (10 spins of “Redbone” off of the 2016 album, “Awaken, My Love!”) Childish Gambino, the stage name for Donald Glover, is a singer, songwriter, producer, director, actor, comedian and rapper — with many talents. According to his Spotify, “Glover refined his off-kilter brand of hip-hop on his 2013 breakthrough album ‘Because the Internet,’ before making a sharp turn toward R&B-inspired funk, which won him a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2017 for the single ‘Redbone.’”

Glover has won a multitude of awards — including Grammys, MTV Video Music Award, Emmy, Golden Globes and a Critics Choice Award. Glover has amassed over 15 million listeners on Spotify but is taking time to work on his hit show ‘Atlanta.’


2. *Robot Tennis Club (local) – alt/indie (9 spins of “Cheshire Cat” off of the 2022 album, “If These Walls Could Talk, You Wouldn’t Listen”) Robot Tennis Club is a 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.”


3.Tennis (Local) — alt/indie — (9 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.


4.100 gecs – electronic – (8 spins of “Torture Me (ft. Skrillex)” off of the 2023 EP “Snake Eyes”) 100 gecs is a viral duo that consists of Dylan Brady and Laura Les. Their music was so different that the genre hyperpop was created to explain their own music. With a 157 BPM, the track has the only feature on the EP and really closes up the short list of songs nicely.



5. Backseat Lovers – alt/indie – (7 spins of “Growing/Dying” off of the 2022 album, “Waiting to Spill”) The Backseat Lovers have been on our charts for the past 4 weeks! They are from Heber City, Sandy and Ogden, Utah and the members include Jonas Swanson, Joshua Harmon, KJ Ward and 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.”


6. CMAT – pop – (6 spins of “I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!” off of the 2022 album, “If My Wife Knew I’d Be Dead”) CMAT, short for Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, 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.” NME goes on to explain that “her velvety vocals and earworming beats compliment Katy J Pearson’s ’70s-Americana bops, while her multifaceted lyricism mirrors that of country greats such as Patsy Cline and Skeeter Davis.”

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.”


7. Outkast – hip hop – (5 spins of “Hey Ya!” off of the 2003 album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”)

Outkast, the iconic rap duo, that consists of André 3000 and Big Boi don’t need any explanation — they are iconic. According to Genius, André 3000 explained that “‘Hey Ya!’ is pretty much about the state of relationships in the 2000s. It’s about some people who stay together in relationships because … somebody told them, ‘You guys are supposed to stay together.’ But you pretty much end up being unhappy for the rest of your life.’”

Genius also states that, “the single achieved platinum status and reached #1 on the pop charts in multiple countries, including the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart. ‘Hey Ya!’ racked up numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award.”


8. Little Simz  – hip hop/rap – (5 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.


9. Mitski – alt/indie – (5 spins of “Should’ve Been Me” off of the 2022 album, “Laurel Hell”) 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.”

Her first project, “Bury Me at Makeout Creek,” was released in 2014, and this was actually the first time Mitski ever picked up a guitar. However, on her latest release, “Laurel Hell,” Mitski, “opted for sleeker surfaces reminiscent of ’80s pop,” according to AllMusic.

According to Genius, “Should’ve Been Me,” “describes one of Mitski’s relationships and the isolation she felt as a consequence of poor communication on the part of her partner. However, through the song, she also repeatedly apologizes for being emotionally unavailable and detached from her partner.” The track also explores the themes of “grief, loneliness and isolation.”


10. Fleetwood Mac – rock – (4 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.”

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