New Music Friday is intense. Hundreds of songs drop from artists around the world, and you’re supposed to somehow find the best ones. It’s fun work, but it’s time-consuming — so we at Billboard Dance want to give you a hand. Each week, we sift through the streams and dig in the digital crates to present the absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of jams.
Dance music is all about the community, and in that spirit, this week is delivering a litany of heavyweight collabs. There’s Louisahhh getting a heavy-ass edit from Imogen, Oliver Heldens big upping his excellent new Heldeep signee Aspen King and the unusually long list of group efforts below. Grab a friend, and let’s dig in.
Armand van Helden & Chris Lake Feat. Arthur Baker & Victor Simonelli, “The Answer”
Chris Lake and New York house legend Armand van Helden tag team for the buoyant, infectious anthem “The Answer,” which samples 1991’s “Why Can’t We See,” a plea for justice and love by pioneering producers Arthur Baker and Victor Simonelli. The 2020 power duo’s take on the classic comes from a four track EP of the same name, with the collab starting quite humbly over coffee at Lake’s house in Los Angeles last November.
“The vibes were flying after we sat down on the first morning, chugging coffee, visualizing what could be made,” Lake says in a press release.” “The title track came together so quickly,” van Helden adds, “we just followed the energy in the room.” Take their lead and follow the energy in this track to whatever area of your house you host your dance parties for one.
Wolfgang Gartner & Kill the Noise, “Battlestations”
Wolfgang Gartner and Kill the Noise join forces for “Battlestations,” which is as aggressive, unpredictable and slick as one would expect from these two longstanding masters of low end. (There’s also a very welcome electro vibe and some influence from Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, stronger.” The single’s cover art depicts the hounds of hell facing off against a gaggle of red-eyed skeletons outside the steps of a buIlding very reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol Building, giving a heavy hint of the battle the two producers had in mind when assembling all of the power builds.
Lee Foss, Detlef & Anabel Englund, Thunder & Lightning EP
It’s been six years since Lee Foss and Anabel Englund released music through the lauded Hot Creations imprint, with the work they did alongside Jamie Jones (as Hot Natured) via the label in the early 2010s delivering some of the era’s slinkiest house anthems.
Their homecoming is the Thunder & Lightning EP, a collaboration with Greek producer Detlef. The sound is both fresh and exactly what you’d expect from the trio of deep house cool kids, with the sexy, bumping productions serving as a carrier for Englund’s always smoldering vocals. which on the title track exist alongside samples of traditional tribal singing. (A recent trend in dance music, with similar samples also recently coming from TroyBoi and Bicep.) The project follows Foss and Englund’s May single “Warm Disco.”
Cedric Gervais & Franklin feat. Nile Rodgers, “Everybody Dance”
When Nile Rodgers is involved in new music, all you must do is find a space where you can turn the music up loud. The new jam in question is in fact also an old jam, with French veteran Cedric Gervais and rising star Franklin collabing on a high energy (and in fact kind of NRG-sounding) remix of Chic’s 1977 club classic “Everybody Dance.” The update adds a tropical vibe and some serious disco swirl around the killer bassline of the original, with everything coming together for a track with the joy and spirit of a jazzercise marathon.
Black Coffee Feat. Pharrell & Jozzy, “10 Missed Calls”
Pharrell has been dipping his toes in the deep end of dance pool this year, with he and Neptunes partners Chad Hugo working with deadmau5 on the May single “Pomegranate.” Whereas that track veered into fruity-cocktails-with-little-umbrellas-vibes, Pharrell’s just-released single with honey-voiced singer Jozzy and South African star producer Black Coffee is more suited to a late fall snuggle. It’s not necessarily a game changing piece of music, but if you want a piece of R&B-influenced effervescent house music upon which to float away on into the weekend, this is your jam.
Escpe, Cloud Walk EP
To be fair, the bulk of the Cloud Walk EP by TK producer ESCPE is solo work, although the project’s star track (and lead single) “Suncrown” is a collab with respected Finnish producer Axel Thesleff. The entire EP is populated by experimental, often ambient bass that delivers some of those good old back in the day Low End Theory vibes. Escpe has also has a cosign from Clozee, so you know it’s quality.