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Shoegaze-heavy charts this week with Winter, The Cranberries, and Beach House

Shoegaze acts like Beach House and Winter are topping our charts this week, but there’s also a few surprises including The Beatles and Noah Kahan.
Shoegaze-heavy charts this week with Winter, The Cranberries, and Beach House

“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. Debby Friday – Electronic – (5 total spins, highlighted hit: HEARTBREAKERRR off the March 2023 release “Good Luck”)

DEBBY FRIDAY is an incredibly exciting up-and-comer in the world of experimental electronic pop, her “GOOD LUCK” release making a name for herself in the scene and earning collaborations with other artists like Boy Harsher and Uñas. Unwilling to stay in any box or stick with any one genre, DEBBY FRIDAY’s music pushes boundaries.

Described on her Spotify as “a little like Sevdaliza meets Death Grips,” her songs feature heavy, synthy production and edgy, rap-forward vocals. Some tracks on the record are closer to EDM, some bluesy rock, but “HEARTBREAKERRR” is a solid representation of DEBBY FRIDAY’s music.



9. The Cranberries – Alt/indie – (6 total spins, highlighted hit: “Dreams” off of the 1993 release, “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”)

The Cranberries are a beloved band by indie kids everywhere, taking the sounds of 80s shoegaze and adding an indie-pop approach highlighting their Irish origins. With Dolores O’Riordan at the helm, in the 90s The Cranberries took off with songs like “Dreams,” “Zombie,” and, of course, “Linger,” which is one of my favorite songs of all time.

O’Riordan passed away in 2018 due to an accidental drowning in London, a horrible loss to the world of music. Her final recordings were used to make the 2019 release “In The End,” and she has also been honored by the band in the 2021 release “Remembering Dolores.”

“Dreams” is a classic Cranberries song, a love song that starts out jangly and sweet and ends with a section of traditional Sean-nós Irish singing.

8. Noah Kahan – folk – (6 total spins, highlighted hit: “Northern Attitude” off the June 2023 release “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)”)

Noah Kahan is exactly what you want from a singer-songwriter: folky, nostalgic, and right in that sweet spot between sad and hopeful. From Vermont, he grew in popularity with singles throughout 2017 and 2018 until his debut record, “Busyhead,” came out in 2019.

“Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)” is a deluxe edition of the October 2022 release “Stick Season.” It features seven additional tracks. “Northern Attitude” is one of the main singles from both Stick Season releases, a folky song about loneliness and fear.



7. Pile – rock – (7 total spins, highlighted hit: “Gardening Hours” off the February 2023 record, “All Fiction”)

Pile are a rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in its earliest iteration in the solo work of vocalist Rick Maguire but operating as a collective since 2010. Known for Maguire’s growly vocals and their occasional lapses into a more psych-rock sound, the band have a cult following and a cemented space in American indie rock.

Their “All Fiction” Album came out in February of 2023, described on their Spotify as an “ornate, carefully paced study on the subjectivity of perception, the data-shaping despotism of big tech, and the connections between anxiety and death.” Pile were at the #10 slot in last week’s Weekly Gems with the track “Lowered Rainbow,” and have crept a little higher since then! This week’s track, “Gardening Hours,” has a heavy, echoing, prog-gy vibe, and it’s a little spooky!


6. Bestfriend – alt/indie – (8 total spins, highlighted hit: “Anxious People” off the April 2023 EP “Places I’ve Left”)

Bestfriend are made up of Stacy Kim and Kaelan Geoffrey, who met over Instagram and make most of their music remotely. They have an indie pop sound with dream-pop influences, and “Places I’ve Left” is described on Bestfriend’s Bandcamp as “a set of love letters to a past life; your childhood home, your first love, the very specific feeling of being young in the summer, at a party or out with friends when you’ve got a paper due the next day. The anxiety simmering just underneath your skin that feels almost biologically ingrained into your generation.”

“Anxious People” captures our generation’s neurotic tendencies well, romanticizing that feeling of lingering anxiety and youthful discontent.


5. Begonia – r&b – (9 total spins, highlighted hit: “I’m Not Dying” off the February 2023 release “Powder Blue”)

Begonia is the project of singer-songwriter Alexa Dirks, debuting in the Canadian music scene with her EP “Lady in Mind.” Begonia’s voice was described as “shape shifting” by, her music “[taking] you on a journey through trip-hop, electronica, jazz, R&B, pop and country.”

“Powder Blue” is an album described on Begonia’s Spotify through images: a hotel pool, Elvis Presley in an “ill-fitting jumpsuit,” faded denim jackets. “Begonia” is a post-breakup song about doing better than you were before and finally letting that person go.



4. Fruit Bats – folk – (9 total spins, highlighted hit: “Tacoma” off the 2023 release “A River Running to Your Heart”)

Fruit Bats is the lifelong passion project of songwriter and vocalist Eric D. Johnson, who draws from the flowery feel of 60s folk to add an indie, twangy vibe that sounds right at home here in Colorado. Fruit Bats’ first release came in 2001 with the “Echolocation” record, and they’re probably best known for songs like “Humbug Mountain Song” and “The Bottom of It,” which came out in 2016 and 2019 respectively. Steadily touring and creating, Fruit Bats is a prolific act, with “A River Running to Your Heart” as Johnson’s 13th LP released under the Fruit Bats moniker.

“A River Running to Your Heart,” has a soft-indie feel that makes it perfect for a road-trip, a hike, or whatever hipster-y activities your heart desires. In the #3 spot on our Weekly Gems last week, we featured the song “See the World by Night.” This week’s is “Tacoma,” an upbeat, lighthearted little ode to Tacoma, Washington.


3. Beach House – alt/indie – (10 total spins, highlighted hit: “Devil’s Pool” off the 2023 EP “Become”)

Beach House are one of the most well-known dream-pop/shoegaze acts there are. A duo formed in Baltimore in 2004, the duo consist of Victoria Legrand (vocals, keyboard) and Alex Scally (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals). Bringing their ambient, synthy dream-pop melodies to a broader audience, Beach House are a particularly well-known example of how fuzzy guitars and space-age vocals are rapidly becoming the norm in contemporary pop music, influencing artists like Alvvays and Suki Waterhouse.

The EP “Become” is based off a few extra tracks created during the process of molding their 2022 record, “Once Twice Melody.” They describe the songs as not fitting “in the world of OTM, but…a little world of their own.” Our highlighted track, “Devil’s Pool,” was our #1 track on last week’s Weekly Gems, and Beach House are still maintaining a high position on our charts!

2. Winter – pop – (11 total spins, highlighted hit: “Crimson Enclosure” off the 2022 release, “What Kind of Blue Are You?”

In keeping with her name, Winter’s approach to music is melancholy, lilting from softer, dreamier moments to heavier, fuzzier ones. With a classic shoegaze sound, Winter’s music is enveloping and nostalgic. Winter is the project of artist Samira Winter, and “What Kind of Blue Are You” includes influences ranging from obvious ones like My Bloody Valentine and The Sundays to less obvious ones, like the films of Gregg Araki.

“Crimson Enclosure” is deeply layered, definitely made with the amount of heavy pedal-work that gave shoegaze its name. It’s the perfect song for staring broodingly into the distance and pretending you’re in a sad and/or pretentious film.


The Beatles – rock – (13 total spins, highlighted hit: “I’m So Tired” off of 1968’s “The Beatles”)

Up-and-comers to the music scene, you may not have heard of The Beatles, but you’re bound to love ’em if you give these bright-eyed kids a shot!

Really, though, the Beatles are a staple of music and it isn’t surprising that they’ve snuck into the top position of our charts this week! They always used to dominate the charts, after all. I’m sure they got plenty of play back in 1964 when KCSU was founded! “The Beatles” came out in 1968, but it’s better known by its colloquial name, The White Album. The record features thirty songs, most of which were written during a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. Some are experimental, like “Revolution 9,” others beloved, like “Back in the U.S.S.R.”

“I’m So Tired” feels like an anthem that everyone can relate to, especially our fellow CSU students!