Billboard Dance Summer 2019 Music Guide: 15 Must-Hear Releases From Griz, Marshmello, Illenium & More

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Marshmello performs at Mardi Gras World on Jan. 18, 2018 in New Orleans.

Summer is arguably the busiest time of the year for the global electronic music community. Festival season is in full effect here in the United States, while clubs from Tokyo to Ibiza are packed to the brim with party people each weekend. Meanwhile, summer is when the world’s biggest DJs and producers release some of their hottest anthems of the year — the same burning tracks filling said festivals and dance floors worldwide. 

Luckily for fans, this summer is proving to be 2019's best season for electronic music releases. We’ve already seen major projects from massive artists like Eric Prydz (as Pryda), Mark Ronson and GRiZ, with forthcoming confirmed projects from REZZ, Illenium and Hot Since 82 and a new album from Marshmello. 

We’ve compiled the biggest and best dance/electronic releases to soundtrack your road trips, weekend bashes and festival getaways this summer. 

Marshmello 
Joytime III
Release Date: TBD
Label: Joytime Collective

Marshmello has teased Joytime III, the third installment in his Joytime album series, since last December. While album details are slim, we know the masked producer has kept busy with a slew of genre-hopping collabs, including a country-pop song with Kane Brown, a potential track with Cardi B and a hip-hop/R&B cut with Tyga and Chris Brown. Earlier this month, Marshmello released “Rescue Me,” the first official single from Joytime III, a rock-EDM hybrid featuring pop-punk band A Day to Remember. Based on the evidence, we’re betting Joytime III will feature even more ambitious crossovers. 

Eric Prydz 
Pryda 15 Vol I
Release Date:
June 21
Label: Pryda Recordings

This year, Eric Prydz celebrates 15 years of his distinguished Pryda Recordings imprint, the dedicated home for his club-oriented house music, with a three-part EP series highlighting the last decade-and-a-half of his releases as his progressive house alias Pryda. The full EP project—volumes II and III are expected to release in July and August, respectively—will comprise fan-favorite tracks and new material, all dedicated to just one sector of the ever-expansive Eric Prydz sound. 

Cassius
Dreems
Release Date:
June 21
Label: Justice / Love Supreme

As pioneers of the French touch style of house, electronic duo Cassius helped establish their homeland as an epicenter for dance music. The duo was set to celebrate their return to the spotlight via their newest album Dreems, a classy, masterfully produced take on vintage-inspired house. In a tragic turn of events, founding member Philippe Zdar, née Philippe Cerboneschi, died last week, just two days before the album’s release. Dreems, the final output of Cassius as a duo, now serves as Zdar’s swan song. 

Mark Ronson
Late Night Feelings
Release Date:
June 21
Label: RCA

Self-described as a collection of “sad bangers,” Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings, his fifth studio album, brings the feels to the club. On top of a who’s who of vocal collaborators -- including Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Lykke Li, Camila Cabello and others -- the LP brings the songwriting and production muscle of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker and Jamie xx, among others. Ronson sprinkles just enough emotion and electronic shine to have you crying happy tears on the dance floor. 

Hot Chip
A Bath Full of Ecstasy
Release Date:
June 21
Label: Domino

U.K. quintet Hot Chip perfectly bridges the worlds of indie and electronic on A Bath Full of Ecstasy, the group’s seventh full-length album. Part neon rave, part hipster dive bar, Bath is essential listening for dance fans who enjoy a human touch atop pulsing electronic beats. The LP also features contributions from outside producers, a first for the band, including the recently deceased Philippe Zdar as well as Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, David Byrne, Sampha).

GRiZ
Bangers[1].Zip EP
Release Date:
June 24
Label: TuneCore

Future funk maestro GRiZ returns with the aptly titled Bangers[1].Zip EP. Continuing the sonically ambitious streak of his recent Ride Waves album, Bangers reinforces the classic GRiZ sound: groovy bass music mixed with reggae, dubstep and extra chunks of funk.

Peggy Gou 
DJ-Kicks
Release Date: June 28
Label: !K7 Music

For the 69th edition of the revered DJ-Kicks mix series, Berlin-based Korean artist Peggy Gou takes listeners through her musical journey, one that’s seen her blossom from buzzing DJ to bona fide house phenom in three short years. Rather than recreate the vibe of her dynamic DJ sets, the mix album explores Gou’s personal music library and eclectic tastes: disco, house, ambient, techno, electro—it’s all there. The mix also features three exclusive tracks, including “Hungboo,” Gou’s first-ever track, which are packaged as a preview sampler EP out now.

Michael Brun
Lokal 
Release Date:
June 28
Label: AWAL

Tapping into the native sounds and musical traditions of his homeland, budding producer/DJ Michael Brun takes listeners on a sonic journey through Haiti’s contemporary music scene on his debut album, Lokal. The LP mixes Brun’s brand of rhythmic electronic grooves with regional musical styles like kompa and rara for a truly global sound that spans the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Lokal features an international cast of collaborators, plus contributions from Major Lazer, and Arcade Fire members Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. 

Keys N Krates
A Beat Tape for Your Friends
Release Date: July TBD
Label: Self-released

Canadian electronic trio Keys N Krates revisits its hip-hop roots via A Beat Tape for Your Friends. Designed as a beat tape, a collection of instrumental beats compiled as an album or mix, this independent release strips away the grandiosity of Keys N Krates’ 2018 debut album, Cura, and refocuses on what the band does best: beat-making in the purest sense of the art. An homage to beat culture and scene luminaries like J Dilla, Beat Tape’s breezy rhythms and melodies make for the idyllic summer BBQ soundtrack.

Tycho
Weather
Release Date:
July 12
Label: Mom + Pop Music / Ninja Tune

Following his 2016 chart-topping and Grammy-nominated album Epoch, ambient producer Tycho heads into new sonic territories with Weather. His fifth LP, Weather sees Tycho expanding his production style, which has evolved from an electronic-centric approach to include organic sounds and instrumentation via live guitars, bass and drums, along with the introduction of vocal tracks into his sound for the first time ever. “Weather intends to reveal a more human side to the music, with the vocal and lyrical components adding a whole new dimension of warmth and life,” Tycho said in a recent press release. The end result reveals a new side of Tycho.

Blasterjaxx
Perspective
Release Date: July 19
Label: Maxximize Records (Spinnin' Records)

Known for their festival anthems, Dutch DJ/producer duo Blasterjaxx beef up their sound on their debut album, Perspective. (The LP is out on the group’s own Maxximize Records, a sublabel of Spinnin' Records.) While Perspective is infused with bombastic EDM energy as heard on the frenetic single “Let The Music Take Control,” the album also shows the duo’s sensitive side: tracks like “Super Friends” and “Children of Today” employ emotional vocals to create a sound that’s simultaneously soft and sensational.

REZZ 
Beyond the Senses EP
Release Date: July 24
Label: AWAL

Two full albums and three EPs into her prolific four-year career, REZZ delivers her most impactful project to date with her new Beyond the Senses EP. The six-track release sees REZZ throwing down her brand of rich, dense bass bombs outfitted with enhanced production techniques via the producer’s newfound approach to melody, structure and vocal work. Single “Falling,” featuring Underoath frontman Aaron Gillespie, captures REZZ’s new artistic chapter via its vocal-led industrial-techno stomps.

Hot Since 82
8-track
Release Date: July 26
Label: Knee Deep In Sound

After first announcing the project last summer, U.K. house producer Hot Since 82 is finally releasing his album 8-track, a project he’s been tweaking for more than two years. Designed as a concept album allowing artists the freedom to “create a body of work beyond the limitations of a single or EP,” according to a press release from the producer, 8-track explores Hot Since 82’s penchant for classic house vibes, progressive beats and deep club music, as heard on the latest album single, “You Are the Light.”

Various Artists
Jauz Presents: This Is Off the Deep End
Release Date: July TBD
Label: Bite This!

Home to some of the buzziest up-and-comers in the game, Jauz’s newly launched Bite This! label returns this summer with a new compilation highlighting the imprint’s genre-bending sound. An extension of Jauz’s Off the Deep End event series and brand, through which the producer experiments beyond his typical sound, the forthcoming project will feature music from more than 10 artists, as well as new tunes from the Bite This! head honcho himself. According to Jauz, listeners can expect tons of house goodies.

ILLENIUM
ASCEND 
Release Date: August 16
Label: Astralwerks

ILLENIUM makes his major label debut with ASCEND, his third full-length artist album and his first with new label home, Astralwerks. ASCEND continues the Denver-based producer’s brand of emotional, bass-heavy electronic pop, as best captured on power single “Good Things Fall Apart.” Expect expansive soundscapes rooted in pretty bass melodies and updated with Illenium’s matured songwriting and production chops.