Colorado State Radio



Colorado State Radio


Upcoming Events
Follow Us on Twitter

Hozier and Noah Kahan lead our winter charts, along with plenty of pop!

Artists like Troye Sivan, Beabadoobee, and Chappell Roan keep pop high in our charts!
Hozier and Noah Kahan lead our winter charts, along with plenty of pop!

“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 12-1. 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. Boygenius – alt/indie – 8 spins – highlighted hit: “Powers” off of the October release “The Rest” 

Formed from indie darlings Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker, boygenius’s first, self-titled EP came out in 2018. Formed “on accident” after the three became friends, boygenius’s cult status has grown into a devoted fanbase. Their first full-length album, “the record,” came out this year in March, and it was met with acclaim from fans and critics, a critical, commercial, and fan-led success. Their newest release as boygenius, the four-song “the rest” EP is what came of songs that didn’t make it on the original record, and each track was revealed one-by-one over the course of their tour until the EP was released.

Our highlighted track, “Powers,” is definitely our most-played Boyj track as of late, so it’s getting another feature!

9. Omar Apollo – r&b –  9 spins – highlighted hit: “Ice Slippin'” off of the October release “Live For Me” 

Described on his Spotify page as having “mastered longing,” alternative R&B artist Omar Apollo’s music is Latin, queer, and popular for a reason. Born in Indiana to parents from Mexico, he learned guitar at age 11 to help deal with the isolation he felt. Debuting with a handful of singles in 2017 and his debut EP, “Stereo,” already had a fully-formed sound and approach that was impressive full-stop, let alone for a 21 year old. Subsequent releases have continued to build his fanbase and acclaim, with 2022’s “Ivory” (his first full-length album) as a particular high point; the track “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)” currently sits at over two hundred million streams on Spotify.

His most recent release is from this October, a four-track EP called “Live For Me,” which he handpainted the cover for—a self portrait that comes with an extra special surprise on the back cover of vinyl editions. Our highlighted track is the EP’s lead single “Ice Slippin,’” which Apollo described on Instagram as his first time “not writing about romantic love.”

8. Tennis – pop – 10 spins – highlighted hit: “One Night with the Valet” off of the February release “Pollen” 

One of the most exciting musical acts coming out of Colorado right now, Tennis are formed by husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore (keys, vocals), and Patrick Riley (guitar, keys), who met while students right here in Colorado. Frequently out on sailing excursions, their music often takes inspiration from the boating trips the pair have been taking since the early days of their relationship.

Inspired by 50s doo-wop with a soft psych-pop twist, Tennis are a favorite at the station (especially because of their Colorado origins). “Yours Conditionally” is a record in constant rotation here, as is the rest of their stuff! Their most recent venture, February’s “Pollen,” was written on a four-month sailing trip. Our highlighted track, “One Night With the Valet,” is a standout from the record.

7. Beabadoobee – pop – 11 spins – highlighted hit: “Talk” off of the 2022 release “Beatopia” 
Bea Kristi, known musically as Beabadoobee, was born in the Philippines and raised in London. She began her music career in 2017 with the single “Coffee,” which took off almost immediately. Another coffee themed track, “death bed (coffee for your head)” by Powfu featuring Bea, went viral on TikTok in 2020, currently sitting at over a billion streams on Spotify.

Bea’s steady release of bedroom pop eps and records has built her a consistent presence in the indie music scene, and sugary-sweet tracks like “glue song” give her a ubiquitous presence in romantic playlists everywhere. Her newest record, Beatopia, came out in 2022. It’s inspired by the made-up world she retreated into as a child, The album is full of features, from Jockstrap’s Georgia Ellery to Pinkpantheress. Our highlighted track, “Talk,” has a pop-punk feel that she doesn’t always go for, but works well!

6. Cherry glazerr – rock – 11 spins – highlighted hit: “Ready For You” off of the September release “I Don’t Want You Anymore” 

Cherry Glazerr formed in Los Angeles in 2013, fronted by Clementine Creevy, the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist. They’ve moved from their initial grungy output to lighter, indier tracks on their most recent record, “I Don’t Want You Anymore,” but their garage influences still shine through on every track.

Creevy describes the process of making “I Don’t Want You Anymore” as a period of intense, raw self-reflection, quoted on Spotify as saying “I’ve spent these years taking a hard look at myself, at my relationships, and writing about it. I guess I’m coming to terms with a lot of my bullshit.”
Our highlighted track, “Ready For You,” is perfect for anyone looking for something angsty (or anyone afraid of intimacy! Slay!)

5. Chappell Roan – pop – 13 spins – highlighted hit: “Pink Pony Club” off of the September release “The Rise & Fall of a Midwest Princess” 
Chappell Roan has been writing and releasing her own music since she got her start on YouTube as a teenager in 2017, an internet-led “dark pop” princess whose word-of-mouth success began with her track, “Pink Pony Club,” going viral on TikTok in 2021. Building a further following from accompanying artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Fletcher on tour, Roan became known for her camp (self-made) outfits and unapologetically glittery pop music.

Her debut record, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess,” sees Roan really coming into her own sonically and aesthetically, met with praise from critics and fans alike. This week we’re featuring the viral “Pink Pony Club,” which we have yet to play on gems yet!

4. Troye sivan – pop – 14 songs – highlighted hit: “Silly” off of the October release “Something to Give Each Other” 
Another artist who got their start on the internet, Troye Sivan’s story is a particularly compelling one. He started posting YouTube videos as a kid, growing in popularity through his teenage years through his comedy, vlog, and song cover videos. His debut EP, “TRXYE,” came out in 2014, followed by his debut studio album, “Blue Neighborhood,” which came out in 2015.

Sivan’s second album, “Bloom,” was released in 2018, and in the time between that and his third record, “Something to Give Each Other” he’s released a steady stream of singles alongside focusing on acting for a while. Released October 13th, “Something to Give Each Other” has been received with immense praise from fans and critics. Our highlighted track this week, “Silly,” is a dance-pop hit that wouldn’t be out of place in the Pink Pony Club that Chappell Roan sang about for our fifth slot!

3. Mitski – alt/indie – 14 songs – highlighted hit: “When Memories Snow” off of the October release “The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We” – 14 spins
Mitsuki Miyawaki, known simply as Mitski, is a singer-songwriter who’s been releasing music since her first few self-released records, “Lush” (2012), and “Retired From Sad, New Career in Business” (2013), which she originally made while still in college. Mitski’s cult status among indie fans only grew after her subsequent releases “Bury Me At Makeout Creek” (2014) and “Puberty 2” (2016). Mitski achieved more mainstream success following 2018’s “Be the Cowboy” with tracks like “Nobody” and “Washing Machine Heart” going viral on TikTok and Twitter.

Mitski’s music is associated with many online niches: sad Kendall Roy edits, sad edits in general, what’s often called “sad girl” music, but Mitski rejects the idea that her music has to be defined by sadness, saying in a video for Crack Magazine that “The sad girl thing was reductive and tired like 5-10 years ago, and it still is today…let’s retire the sad girl shtick.”

Her newest album, “The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We,” was released September 15th to massive acclaim from critics and fans. Mitski describes this on her Spotify as her most “American album,” and our highlighted track this week is one we’ve featured before, the seasonally appropriate “When Memories Snow.”

2. Olivia Rodrigo – pop – 15 spins – highlighted hit: “Logical” off of the august release “GUTS” 

No longer just an up-and-comer in the world of pop music, Olivia Rodrigo is the world of modern pop music, a leading figure in shaping the sounds and aesthetics of modern pop music. Her debut record, “SOUR,” was a massive pop-cultural moment, the fastest album in history to have all of its songs certified RIAA Platinum for higher. Rodrigo got her start as an actress, featuring on shows like “Bizaardvark” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Show,” but her passion for music led her to the career she has now.

Rodrigo’s second release, “GUTS,” came out in September to more praise and hype, currently putting her at the spot of the 22nd most-streamed artist in the entire world on Spotify. The album has a pop-rock/pop-punk inspired approach, edgier and more honest than Rodrigo was able to be on “SOUR.”

Our highlighted hit this week is “Logical,” a slower and simpler track that harkens back to Rodrigo’s earlier musical sound.

1. Hozier and Noah Kahan – folk – 17 spins – highlighted hit: the November release “Northern Attitude” 

Hozier (aka Andrew Hozier-Byrne) is a singer-songwriter from Ireland who skyrocketed to fame after his 2013 song, “Take Me To Church” became one of the most popular songs of the year (now with over 2 billion streams on spotify). His bluesy, folk-oriented music explores love, politics, religion, nature, and everything else one might expect from an Irish wordsmith whose songs reference everything from the bible to Dante’s Inferno to his favorite jazz songs and poems.

Hozier’s most recent release, “Unreal Unearth,” was released a few months ago on August 18th! It’s based upon Dante’s Inferno, with each song representing one of the circles of hell that Dante journeys through in the famous poem. Hozier wrote this album partially as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, telling “As a structure, I did want to acknowledge something in my experiences of [that] two, three year period, and what I was processing. I [wanted] to find a way that nods to that, and the significance of that — albeit, not necessarily in a way that was a lockdown album or a pandemic album, or songs that focus on the nuances of that experience, but at least acknowledge the journey. And it’s taking the structure of that journey as imagined by Dante, these Nine Circles he walks through and then he comes out the other side.”
The record is a hit with Hozier fans who waited patiently for its release, and Hozier’s two Red Rocks shows in October were attended by tons of students who’ve spoken pretty highly of the show! Hozier has been in our charts consistently since we got “Unreal Unearth” into our rotation!

Our highlighted track this week isn’t just by Hozier, but a feature on the original Noah Kahan smash-hit “Northern Attitude.” The combination of these two folk druids together is particularly effective, adding even more emotion to the track, which Hozier warned on TikTok might ‘frighten your dog’ because of all the howling.