Dance

First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Porter Robinson, Duck Sauce, Anti Up & More

Porter Robinson
Dan Regan

Porter Robinson

This week saw some major movement in the dance scene, with Lightning In a Bottle officially cancelling for 2021; Mau5trap stepping onto the dancefloor via the launch of its new subsidiary, hau5trap; Swedish House Mafia parting ways with their label; DJ Snake and Selena Gomez reuniting; and Daft Punk's streaming numbers soaring after the duo disbanded last week.

In addition to all that news comes the raw material that makes the news happen: music. This week sees some truly high level releases from some of the scene's best and brightest. Let's dig in.

Porter Robinson, “Musician”

Bleeding-heart icon Porter Robinson just revealed the triumphant crown of his forthcoming sophomore LP, Nurture. Previous singles “Something Comforting,” “Look at the Sky” and others chronicle the artist's highly publicized struggle against writer's block and self-doubt, but “Musician” sees our hero standing atop the mountain of his inspiration.

“If the rest of Nurture is about me trying to find hope for the future, ‘Musician’ is like a celebration of that hope materializing,” Robinson says in a press release. “It was one of the last songs that I wrote for the album, and it's honestly a celebration of the album itself. That's where the title comes from. It's like, ‘Alright, I've found my footing, and I know I can really do this now.’ And I just tried to throw all of my rules away and have as much fun as possible. Ironically enough, this is the least sad song on the album, but this is the song that makes me cry. It's the fun one. I just sound so happy on that song.”

Most interesting is the song's soft maximalism: a flurry of textures, rhythms and sounds play in muted dimensions, painting the frenetic feeling of a rave against a two-dimensional sort of bedroom-listening vibe. It's loud, but it's easy, and it's certainly got us excited for the full project's release on Apr. 23. -- KAT BEIN

Duck Sauce, “Ask Me”

Quack is back, y’all. The duo of Duck Sauce -- that’s Armand Van Helden and A-Trak -- has returned with its first new track of the year, “Ask Me,” which also serves as the B-side for another Billboard Dance favorite, “Mesmerize.” Compared to its hi-NRG counterpart, “Ask Me” has the more low-key spirit of a Sunday morning stroll, with a gospel vocal to match.

Ascending above the noodle-y house groove and perky percussion, the vocal (sampled from Supreme Jubilees’ “Do You Believe”) forewarns of the ultimate reckoning, urging listeners to save themselves before it’s too late. It’s a more introspective take on YOLO than one might expect from producers who turned the name of an EGOT-winning icon into a club meme, but with the way “Ask Me” peaks with the repeated phrase, “Soul I can feel (oh, Lord),” you’ll feel like you’re ascending, too. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Anti Up, "Sensational"

It's 1984, you're strutting into the hottest club in town; you're looking fly; you're feeling sexy, and the music is sounding fresh. Oh wait, no, actually it's 2021, you're on the couch in your pajamas drinking your third cup of coffee; you're plucking away on your computer; and you cannot go to the club or literally anywhere else tonight because of a global pandemic. Hm.

But don't despair, because if only for three minutes and 40 seconds, Chris Lorenzo Chris Lake are transporting you from the latter to the former situation via their aptly named "Sensational." The latest from their collaborate project Anti Up, the track gives serious '80s vibes, via its synth-forward production that evokes Erasure, Duran Duran and Devo. A lot of dance acts and pop acts have been winning with 80s-inspired sounds in the past year, but none of them have sounded so new wave-era New York as this track, which is out via Big Beat and comes from the duo's forthcoming debut album. -- KATIE BAIN

Tyler Young, “My Time”

“My Time” is an apt title for Tyler Young’s debut single. The DJ and producer, the son of one of the music industry’s most successful musicians turned businessmen, (ahem, it's Dr. Dre) steps into his own spotlight with a house track designed to fill big, dark clubs and strobing festival stages with its raving euphoria. Vocalist Hayley May’s encouragement to live for oneself rings with a booming, transcendent assurance, while plucky piano keys and a bottomless bassline create alternating states of overstimulation and weightlessness. A track for the dancefloor, yes, but also one to put on repeat anywhere, when you need to convince yourself of something that, deep down, you already know. -- K.R.

LP Giobbi, “Take My Hand”

If there's anyone we trust to lead us to the dance floor amidst the turmoil and fatigue of the one-year anniversary of “shelter in place” as a thing we all understand, it's piano house purveyor LP Giobbi. The flower child Femme House leader deals nothing but the best four-on-the-floor grooves, each tune laced with a powerful sense of self and easy-to-love melody.

“Take My Hand” is an easygoing slice of soul, a heavenly bit of classic house style to ease your rattled mind. It's out now on Animal Talk, the label Giobbi helps run alongside Sofi Tukker. And if you haven't yet, check out Giobbi's energizing Twitch streams, which mix live elements with DJ mix madness. It's a good time. -- K. Bein

Lun, "Bitches"

Lūn makes a forceful debut with "Bitches," which is in fact the only lyric uttered for the duration of the entire track. Walls of bass stretch above the sound of a ticking clock, launch into a manic, hefty siren call chorus that makes us feel like we can shoot lightning through our fingertips. Lūn is for now keeping their identity under wraps, but we get a good sense of their personality and priorities through this statement delivered via press release: "There is a lot of cause for yelling these days and everyone does it, on social media, in the news, at each other, at themselves. This is me yelling in bass." -- K. Bain