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.
In a moment when many of us would give our left arms to escape into the dark corner of a loud nightclub, current events demand not only that we do not look away, but that we participate, soul search and do everything within our ability to fight for justice and equality in our own corners of the world.
Thus, this week’s new dance music below — along with other fresh heat out this week by Tricky, DJ Sliink and DJ Jayhood and Body Movement Feat. Lizzie Nightingale — is not meant to distract, but to energize and inspire ideas of better days to come. Let’s dig in.
Aluna Feat. SG Lewis, “Warrior”
It’s been a powerful moment for Aluna to go solo. Breaking away from her longstanding duo AlunaGeorge, the lauded musician/vocalist dropped her excellent debut solo single and announced an LP coming via Diplo’s Mad Decent in late April. This week, she nails it again with her second single, “Warrior” a slinky, sensual heater with London producer SG Lewis.
“Warrior is a portrait of a woman in the shadows,” the English artist is quoted in a press release. “She has to see herself, instead of waiting for others, by calling on that Warrior spirit, the one that makes us fearless enough to be ourselves.” The track was originally scheduled to drop last week, with Aluna holding it in light of the Black Lives Matter protests, writing on Instagram that “I can’t miss this opportunity to do something that i never allow myself to do – share my black experience,” with the message coming after her April statement that “In the past when performing on the stages of my white male peers, I always felt like a visitor being one of the few Black women I could see, so it never fully occurred to me to claim dance music as my music.” With “Warrior” the claim is clear.
Dua Lipa, “Break My Heart” (Moon Boots Remix)
Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia disco-funk anthem “Break My Heart” is already an aural party in its own right, but here eternally party-starting producer Moon Boots throws even more bounce in the mix with his shimmery, funky (and official) edit. The Brooklyn-based producer extends the track, adding percussion, piano stabs and clips from an actual party to deliver a take on the track that isn’t that different from the original, but which makes a very good thing even better.
German producer Roosevelt follows his excellent 2019 LP, Young Romance, with the new single “Sign,” which, like the music on that last album, balances ’80s-inspired synth, disco, driving beats and cinematic textures into a musical amalgamation that simultaneously manages effervescence and heft.
“Sign” plays like a modern take New Order, Erasure and Depeche Mode (and also evokes the sound of L.A. duo Classixx, with whom Roosevelt has worked), with his rich vocals expressing a well of emotion that elevates this song from just another ephemeral dance track to a song that’s dreamy and memorable enough to put on repeat for the summer. “I found it really inspiring to make something that’s initially made for listening alone on your headphones,” the producer says in a statement, “but that hopefully can come alive in the near future when played out at a dance club or festival and create a form of unity again.“ We hope so, too.
Charlotte de Witte, “Sgadi Li Mi”
Clearly, we all really miss being together on the dancefloor. It’s thus both good and bad news that Charlotte De Witte’s fresh-out EP, Return to Nowhere, is going to make you miss it that much more. These four tracks are high-end techno made for sweaty clubs packed so tightly that you can’t help but brush up against the stranger next to you. (Remember casual human contact?) But even though clubs remain closed, these tracks, including the EP’s standout lead “Sgada Mi Li,” will satiate that hunger for pummeling kick drums and vocals likely to transport you far beyond the confines of your living room.
Chromeo, Quarantine Casanova”
“All these people trying to Zoom, I don’t even like them in real life,” Chromeo’s Dave 1 laments on “Stay In Bed (And Do Nothing),” one of five tracks on the duo’s latest (and timely) Quarantine Casanova. Recorded while on lockdown, these songs maintain the same goofily romantic sensibility that have made the duo longtime dance world crushes, with this new collection of music — released throughout quarantine and collected on the LP along with instrumental versions and edits — taking their sweet sense of humor and filtering it through current circumstances, a make lemonade situation that has gifted the world with tracks including “Clorox Wipe,” “Cabin Fever” and “Six Feet Away,” on which Dave 1 and P-Thugg still manage to be fully charming — even from a safe distance.
Eats Everything, “Honey”
Eats Everything has long managed to make dance music that’s both playful and serious, and this most welcome ability is on full display via his latest single, “Honey.” Out on Pete Tong’s venerable FFRR label, the track is bright, scintillating techno built around a vocal sample from legendary New York City drag queen Moi Renee. (Check Moi Renee performing “Miss Honey” — from which Eats Everything’s sample is taken — on NYC public access television in the early 90s.) The long-awaited track also slayed when Eats Everything dropped it during his b2b set with Fatboy Slim at Glastonbury 2019. Turn it up, and live vicariously.