First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Dua Lipa, Ducky & More

ISSUE 23 2018 - DO NOT USE!!!! - ISSUE OUT OCT. 11, 2018
Sami Drasin
Dua Lipa photographed on Sept. 24, 2018 at The Paramour Estate in Los Angeles.

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 five absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of jams.

This week, we're easing into the new year with a wave of remixes from dance queen Dua Lipa, a massive track with meaning from Ducky and a flurry of banging cuts straight from the underground. Let's dig in.

Dua Lipa, "Don't Start Now" Remixes

Dua Lipa one-ups herself with a shimmering six-track remix package of her 2019 smash "Don't Start Now." Via edits including a shimmying disco banger from UK funk master Purple Disco Machine and a house version from Australian producer Dom Dolla, the remixes present versions even more euphoric and ear-catching than the original. To celebrate the remixes, Lipa has also released an accompanying live version music video, resplendent with rollerskates and a string section. Don't miss it. -- KATIE BAIN

Illyus & Barrientos, “Promise”

Is it a coincidence that Illyus & Barrientos have kicked off Toolroom’s annual release schedule three years in a row? The Glasgow duo has become one of the label’s bonafide staples in recent years, with last year being an especially impressive showing across their three singles, “Shout,” “The One” and “Need” with Danny Howard.

To kick off 2020, Illyus & Barrientos bring us “Promise,” which by title alone feels pretty optimistic for the embattled year ahead. Much of what makes “Promise” so good can be attributed to its vocals sampled from a gospel song, “I Promised The Lord, I Would Hold Out.” It’s emotional, raw, peak-time house heavy enough to cry out your pain and stomp all over it, in an act of dancefloor catharsis. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Ducky, "Don't Give Up Still"

L.A. favorite Ducky demonstrates that deep messages can be embedded withtin big sounds via "Don't Give Up Still," her newest single out via Spinnin Records (and reminiscent of her early 2010s releases via the same venerable Dutch label).

“This song is a continuation of an idea from years ago," the producer says in a press release. "I have an EP from 2016 called dont give up yet that was about finally finding hope after a lifelong battle with undiagnosed bipolar and trauma and finally getting help and starting to find relief. This song is about finding myself back in that old place, battling the same demons, going "oh my god, i cant believe im here again" and finding the strength to keep going once more, recognizing that I've always got that capacity for hope, and that as dark as I go, the light never goes out.” Amen, still. -- K.B.

Disaia, “Really”

Disaia can’t resist a good R&B vocal. After sampling Beyonce (“Diva”), Brandy (“What About Us,” “The Boy is Mine”) and 112 (“Dance With Me”) in recent releases, the Spanish duo debuts on Riva Starr’s Snatch! Records today with “Really.” The single sounds like a hybrid of tech house and hip-hop, with its skipping bassline and dark electronics made all the more menacing by its vocals: “I almost gave you my devotions / You were playing my emotions / Just to get it … boy I never really liked you / I’ve been saying all this shit to spite you.” Brr! That’s cold. -- K.R.

Tazer Feat. Maad & Keys the Prince, “I’m On Fire (Chill Mix)”

Since 2014, the Love & Other label has lived comfortably in the club, hitting all areas of house -- deep, tech, bass and the good ol’ fashioned kind -- with its releases from the likes of Illyus & Barrientos, Riton, DJ S.K.T., GotSome and even Idris Elba. UK producer Tazer’s single from this past November, “I’m On Fire” featuring Maad and Keys The Prince, fit squarely within the confines of the dancefloor with its burning, bass-filled energy.

But a newly shared “Chill Mix” of the track pulls a total 180. Here, Tazer creates an R&B flip that’s laid-back and silky smooth, yet still keeps its warm energy with full chords and tasteful horns -- something you’d expect to hear in a Soulection mix or even a Kaytranada set. This remix is good enough to stand on its own. -- K.R.

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