#NowPlaying at The Key: Eight must-hear songs by illuminati hotties, Parquet Courts, Mykki Blanco and more

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Illuminati Hotties | photo by Kristy Benjamin | courtesy of the artist // Parquet Courts | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN // Mykki Blanco | photo by Bruno Staub | courtesy of the artist

Pop stars expanding into reggaeton, indie rockers dabbling in pop, relatable summer jams and more — this is what we’ve had in heavy rotation at Key HQ this week.


Bison – “Arkansas”

The track “Arkansas” off the new EP from Vermont band Bison is a definite contrast to what I’ve been listening to lately, which is why it stood out. The background sounds both electric and folky and then quickly progresses into a definitive rock song, but it’s hard to place, and the vocals are super stripped and angry. They’ll be in Philly playing a basement show on 6/15. – Emily Herbein

HUNTR – “Higher”

If you’re unfamiliar with Philly-born LA-based rapper Gilbere Forte and his eclectic pop project HUNTR, their latest is a good summary of what they’re all about: stratospheric hooks and thundering drums in the vein of an Imagine Dragons anthem, mixed with motivational, life-affirming bars. It could be your gym jam, if that’s your thing, and it could also be something more, as HUNTR’s latest suite of songs wrestles with the tension between the idealism of religion and the less-than-perfect world we find ourselves living in. – John Vettese

illuminati hotties – “Shape of My Hands”

Studio engineer, producer, and mixer Sarah Tudzin makes her recording debut with Kiss Yr Frenemies, a lush album that goes from fuzzy beach rock guitars to heartwrenching soft spots. – Sam Kesler

Jaden Smith – “Icon (ft. Nicky Jam)”

I’m so excited to see the start of mainstream popularity for Reggaeton musicians. When I saw the title “ft. Nicky Jam” come up on YouTube, I NEEDED to check it out. This song is definitely going to be playing at all the Latinx cookouts this Summer! – Senia Lopez

Joy Again – “Nobody Knows”

While “Nobody Knows” falls into the charming indie pop formula Joy Again is known for, it strays from previous work by incorporating spacey, experimental keyboard and plastic drum kit beats. Sachi’s voice teases blushingly, his tone buoyant, keeping the listener afloat in a ray of rare, absurd joy. This is a bop you’ll want to play on loop. – Mariah Hall

Kyle – “Ups and Downs”

I love this song from Kyle’s new album Light of Mine because it speaks to the struggles that I’ve been having recently, with the positive message that things always turn out fine in the end. I especially like the line “You could be a Budden or a Boat” which speaks to the way we manifest some of our struggles and fortunes with our attitudes. TLDR: A positive, relatable summer jam! – Madorne Lemaine

Mykki Blanco – “High School Never Ends”

About halfway through hearing this 2016 song for the first time on the platform at 30th street, I realized I’d forgotten how to breathe. A soundtrack to a movie that every queer lover has lived. Simply perfect. – Steph Davies

Parquet Courts – “Total Football”

Parquet Courts latest album opener is a manifesto style anthem, penned and sung (well, shouted) by frontman A. Savage. The driving body of the track touches on themes of collectivism and ends with Savage condemning the lone wolf, alpha male archetype. – Jack Madden

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