Hear new songs by Parquet Courts, Bedouine, Hana Vu, Bakar, Why Not and KUNZITE


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The Current: Music You Should Know (MPR graphic)

Check out the latest releases from Parquet Courts and Bedouine, and discover the new sounds of Hana Vu, Bakar, Why Not and KUNZITE.

Parquet Courts, "Walking at a Downtown Pace"

If a song can feel like a busy 2 a.m. sidewalk in New York, then that's what Parquet Courts bring with their new song, "Walking at a Downtown Pace." The New York band seem to be having some fun on their new album, Sympathy for Life (coming out October 22), and they want to spread the joy with a song infiltrated by laughter and group sing-alongs.

Bedouine, "The Wave"

Azniv Korkejian, who makes music under the moniker Bedouine, has managed to craft a folk world for herself; to inhabit that consistently brings a sense of calm to any existing chaos. The Syrian-born artist has a new album coming out in October, Waysides. In the song "The Wave," she meditates on the loss of a dear friend.

Hana Vu, "Everybody's Birthday"

Twenty-one-year-old Hana Vu's debut record is named after the storage systems her family used during their frequent moves during her childhood: Public Storage, an album that looks at the transient and her own collection of thoughts over the years, is out November 5. Leading the charge is a new single to check out called, "Everybody's Birthday." It'll change the way you think about your birthday; as Vu said, "It's about the collective misery and depressive introspection one experiences on their birthday, which in this era of being alone, can feel infinite."

Bakar, "The Mission"

U.K. artist Bakar has been creating catchy hit after hit in the last year. His latest is just as addictive, but it grapples with serious headlines of the world. As Bakar wrote, "To me, the song is about the want and need for a better future, especially for first-generation kids of immigrant backgrounds — telling our stories is so important. I'm trying to represent and reclaim my Islamic faith for a new progressive generation. This is ultimately about peace, but so often our symbols and flags have been hijacked for the wrong purposes. I see what's happening in Kabul this week and pray for the people there."

Why Not, "Flight Home"

Made up of three young men from Minneapolis, Why Not have been at it for about four years now. Their growth as a band is visible in the increasing quality of their cover art and is audible in their most recent releases, which are coated with a clear sheen of polish as their skills and budgets increase. Their effervescent new single, "Flight Home," starts with a simple drum beat and warbly synth chords, and flourishes into a kinetic and arresting banger. With so much growth under their belt, it's hard not to be excited about where Why Not will go from here. – Julian


Take Mike Stroud (Ratatat) and Agustin White (White Fight), add a dash of psychedelia, a pinch of club scene, and a squeeze of some excitable synths — what you get is a fun trip to help keep summer going for just a little longer. They lyrics are a bit nonsensical ("Girls just wanna have fun" and "I like my lemon swayze" are repeated), but on a sun-soaked afternoon, you don't need more than a good beat that puts a smile on your face.