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New Music Climbs the Charts this Week with Jeff Rosenstock, Spellling, and Joey Valence & Brae

Alongside new music fresh to KCSU’s charts like Jeff Rosenstock and Spellling, we’ve got some older gems from Childish Gambino, a Tribe Called Quest, and more
New Music Climbs the Charts this Week with Jeff Rosenstock, Spellling, and Joey Valence & Brae
“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 Wednesday morning and discussed on the show “KCSU Weekly Gem Countdown” which airs every Wednesday from 1-2. During the show, you can tune in to hear the countdown, learn more about each artist behind the songs topping KCSU’s charts, and listen to DJ Fruit-Bat and Lady J break down the sound and feel of each song!

10. Field medic – folk – 6 spins – (Highlighted hit: “Mass Market Paperback” off the September 2023 release “light is gone 2”)

Field Medic is the stage name of American lo fi artist Kevin Patrick Sullivan, a DIY artist who’s been releasing songs online since 2013. With lo fi bedroom-pop production, folk influences, and earnest lyrics, Field Medic has accrued a loyal fanbase who eagerly await every release (and there are many!)

“Light is Gone 2” came out September 1st, and “Mass Market Paperback” is a cute little single with auto-tune heavy vocals and a bright, poppy sound.




9. Childish Gambino – r&b/soul – 7 spins – (Highlighted hit: “Redbone” off the 2016 release “Awaken, My Love”)

Childish Gambino is the moniker for Donald Glover, a burning star of talent whether he’s acting, singing, rapping, writing, producing, or whatever creative endeavors he takes on. Chances are you’re familiar with his work in one (if not all) of these arenas. Glover got his start in the comedy scene, doing stand-up and acting in shows like the sitcom Community, working on his music in the meantime (with prophetic early bars like “Man / why does every black actor gotta rap some? I dunno, all I know is I’m the best one” off of 2011’s “Bonfire.”

“Redbone” came out on 2016’s “Awaken, My Love!”, one of his most popular tracks of all time (and currently at over a billion streams on Spotify). Its vintage, funky and soulful feel differed from the heavier rapping Glover’s earlier work as Gambino featured, as did the rest of the “Awaken, My Love!” album. It’s a track that’s cemented itself into musical history, making many ‘best songs of all time’ lists.


8. A Tribe Called Quest – rap/hip-hop – 8 spins – (Highlighted hit: “Jazz (We’ve Got) off of the 1991 release “The Low End Theory”)

A Tribe Called Quest are a seminal rap group, beginning their career in the early 90s (which is when this week’s track was released). Pioneering the sample-heavy, verse-switching sounds that defined 90s hip-hop crews, Tribe are essential listening for any hip-hop fan, a massive influence on where hip-hop is today.

“Jazz (We’ve Got)” came out in 1991, the second single on their second-ever record “Low-End Theory.” The track is partially an ode to Jazz, sampling “On Green Dolphin Street” by Jimmy McGriff and “Don’t Change Your Love” by Five Stairsteps.



7. M83 – electronic – 8 spins – (Highlighted Hit: “Earth to Sea” off of the March 2023 release “Fantasy”)

M83 probably don’t need an introduction. The project of vocalist, instrumentalist, and producer Anthony Gonzalez, M83’s dreamy electronic pop music has been soundtracking people’s lives since 2001, and songs like “Midnight City” and “Wait” boast hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify. Their groovy, synthy tracks are ideal for nighttime listening.

“Fantasy” came out March of this year, a record that Gonzales described as “a gift to [him]self” made “without the pressure of selling records.” Our highlighted track “Earth to Sea” is a long, synthy dreamscape that it’s easy to get lost in.



6. Jeff Rosenstock – rock – 9 spins – (Highlighted hit: “HEAD” off of the August 2023 release “HELLMODE”)

Jeff Rosenstock has a special place in many-a-punk-kid’s heart. Starting his career with ska acts like The Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Bomb the Music Industry!, Jeff’s music has always been bursting with heart, humor, and a healthy dose of political rage. Moving to make punker music under his own name in the early 2010s, Jeff’s first release as himself was 2012’s “I Look Like Shit.” Rosenstock’s fanbase has reminded loyal and steadily grown, especially after the success of his 2016 record “WORRY.” which many consider one of his best (and was how I got into him myself!)

“HELLMODE” came out August 31st of this year, an expansive record that takes Rosenstock’s usual punky-poppy tunes and adds lusher instrumentation, building up into crescendo endings that capture his dueling senses of hope and hopelessness in the face of the hellish times we happen to be living in. “Head” is a short, pure-punk track that’s sure to be great live.


5. DAMOYEE – pop – 9 spins – (Highlighted hit: “BICY,” a single released in January of 2023)

Dance-pop artist DAMOYEE is not just a singer (with absolute pitch, for the record), but a producer, composer, songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist. Raised on classical music and percussion, there isn’t much she can’t play, imbuing her R&B and pop tracks with these layers of influences.

“BICY” is single from this January, featuring Annie Elise, a 21 year old electronic producer. DAMOYEE has kept up a steady stream of releases, and you can probably expect another full-length LP to come from her soon.



4. Spellling – electronic – 10 spins – (Highlighted hit: “Boys At School” off of the 2023 release “SPELLLING & The Mystery School”)

It’s difficult to find words to describe Spellling (Chrystia Cabral) other than “genius,” but it’s worth a try: confounding any attempts to place her into a single genre, Spelling’s music is fluid, winding, mercurial, multitudinous. With an R&B voice but electronic, experimental pop production, Spellling’s music is just as likely to be haunting and eery as it is romantic. Heavy wavering synths, spiralling piano, chamber backing; Spellling’s music has it all, likening comparisons to pioneering artists like Kate Bush, sharing similarities in her whispery vocals and experimental progressive pop.

“SPELLLING & THE MYSTERY SCHOOL” came out August of this year, an album made up of reworkings of already existing songs. “Boys at School” originally came out on 2021’s “The Turning Wheel,” but this version is slower, more eery and soulful, opening with a newly dramatic chamber preface.

3. Wednesday – rock – 11 spins – (Highlighted hit: “Bull Believer” off of the April 2023 release “Rat Saw God”

Joining Midwest emo with disaffected shoegaze-pop, Wednesday got their start in Asheville, North Carolina. Consisting of Karly Hartzman (vocals), Jake Lenderman (guitar), Xandy Chelmis (lap steel), and Alan Miller (drums), the band signed to Dead Oceans, a label that includes artists like Slowdive, Mitski, and Durand Jones & the Indications. Hartzman was actually inspired to start making music after seeing Mitski’s Tiny Desk Concert, where her guitar-screaming techniques probably ignited a whole new generation of artists like her.

“Rat Saw God” came out in April of 2023. Its fuzzy, angsty guitar build-ups balance out their slight southern, coming-of-age sound. “Bull Believer” is an almost 9 minute epic with a bone-shaking crescendo at the end, the guitars and drums crashing together as Hartzman’s vocals devolve into desperate screaming. It’s more than worth a listen.


2. Kat Duma – pop – 12 spins – (Highlighted hit: “Land & Sea & Sky” off of the April 2023 release “Real Life”)

As her profile on describes, Toronto-based pop artist Kat Duma “produces work that wrestles with the balance between the material world – the body and the planet – as well as the unattainable and the spectral: heaven, love, and nature vs supernature.” She produces much of her own music, working with an industrial, ambient approach to bedroom pop stylings.

“Land & Sea & Sky” came out on her April 2023 record “Real Life,” where her orchestral, ambient, house, folk, and pop influences all come together over the course of the track’s 1:16 runtime.




1. Joey Valence & Brae – rap/hip-hop – 15 spins – (Highlighted hit: “CLUB SANDWICH” off of the September 2023 release “PUNK TACTICS”)

Bringing the sounds of 90s east-coast hip-hop to the TikTok age, Joey Valence & Brae are known for their scrappy, heavily-mixed rap songs, proudly wearing their Beastie Boys influences on their sleeves. Joey Valence and Brae met their Freshmen year at Penn State, goofing around with music together and starting out posting their stuff on TikTok, collaborating on tracks like 2021’s “Crank It Up” and “Double Jump.” Following the success of these songs, their career moved from a few successful TikToks to appearances on programs like The Ellen Show, where their music began to reach an audience bigger than just the in-the-know teenagers who already liked their stuff.

Released September 8th, “Punk Tactics” is the culmination of these collaborations, their debut record together. The record is high-energy, fast-paced, experimental, sample-heavy, and bursting with both the influences of their hip-hop successors and with all the new stuff they’re bringing to the table. “Club Sandwich” is a particularly fun track, and it’s no surprise that this album’s been getting so much play here at KCSU!