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.
Despite the global shutdown of clubs and festivals, this week the dance world really kept it moving. Sofi Tukker performed their 100th livestream of quarantine, Aluna wrote an open letter about the racial inequality in the global dance scene, scene pioneer Kevin Saunderson shared his thoughts on the same manner, Diplo performed a digital hootenanny inside Fortnite, Louis the Child dropped their debut LP, DJ Snake released a massive banger that would slay at festivals if festivals were happening this summer and Wolfgang Gartner got candid about his issues with addiction and the new music he’s releasing post-rehab.
Camelphat x Yannis x Foals, “Hypercolour”
While the pandemic has shut down global touring, Liverpool duo Camelphat still feel unstoppable. Today the guys continue a 2020 hot streak sparked with the singles “Freak” and “For a Feeling” with Hypercolour,” a collaboration with Foals’ singer Yannis Philippakis. Is it an unlikely pairing? For sure. Does it work? Entirely.
Keith Harris Experience Feat. Chief Wakil and Church Boi, “Get It”
Chicago-born producer, instrumentalist, songwriter and Black Eyed Peas drummer Keith Harris expertly fuses house, hip-hop and funk on his undeniable newest single, “Get It.” A collaboration with hip-hop artist Chief Wakil and Ugandan artist Church Boi, the single features a standout video composed of vintage clips film and television clips (assembled by Harris’ wife Brandee) featuring Black performers from the 1930s and 40s, including iconic dancers Bessie Dudley and Florence Hill and moments from the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’.
Cassian Feat Tora “Imagination”
Australian producer Cassian dropped his debut album Laps today, and while the LP is pretty, emotive and transportive start to finish, there’s something particularly stirring about “Imagination” featuring Australian electronic band Tora. The song’s sexy, vocal house vibe is similar to that of Rüfüs du Sol, which makes sense, as Laps is out via Rüfüs’ Rose Avenue Records. (Cassian was also nominated for a 2020 =Grammy for his edit of Rüfüs’ hit single “Underwater.”)
The producer tells Billboard Dance he’s been a longtime fan of Tora: “Towards the end of 2018, I linked up with Jo from the band when we were both in L.A. The song came together really quickly, and we recorded all the vocals that same afternoon. Jo has a magical quality to him, most of what you hear on the record was his first take, he makes it seem so effortless. For me, “Imagination” is about the way we perceive ourselves, our ego and how that affects our relationships. I know Jo would interpret it differently though. It has layers of meaning, which is one of the things that makes it so special to me.” Us too.
Britney Spears, “Mood Ring” (Ape Drums Remix)
In May, Britney blessed the world with “Mood Ring,” a scintillating anthem from her 2016 album Glory that was previously only available to stream in Japan. Today, it’s blessings on blessings with a pared down, sped-up edit from Major Lazer member Ape Drums. Simplifying most of the track to just Britney singing sweet nothings, the producer adds his own touch via a pastiche of vocal samples that creates a welcome new mood.
Kideko & Armand Van Helden, ‘The Fire’
UK producer Kideko pairs with NYC house legend Armand van Helden for the appropriately titled “The Fire.” The song accomplishes a lot in just under three minutes, jumpstarting into a full-on peak time house banger furnished with piano stabs and whoops of joy that altogether do, in fact, bring the heat.
Motez & Qrion, “Slow Down”
Australian producer Motez pairs with Qrion — a 2019 Billboard Dance 2019 emerging artist — for the sleekly futuristic “Slow Down.” Out via Sweat It Out and Lane 8’s always tasteful This Never Happened label, the propulsive progressive house voyage gives us big Eric Prydz “Opus” vibes, which is certainly a compliment. “Slow Down’ is one of those tracks I could tell I was going to sign about 3 seconds into the intro,” Lane 8 is quoted in a statement. “I am all about the power of simplicity in music and this track really nails that.”