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.
This week saw several high-profile releases, with Ms. Kylie Minogue gracing our ear-space with “Say Something,” the first single from her forthcoming Disco LP, Howling releasing their excellent sophomore LP Colure, DJ Shub dropping knowledge and beats with his latest single “The Social,” Porter Robinson remixing himself, dance super-group Bronson dropping its third single and the EDM elite (and Katy Perry!) getting prepped for this weekend’s sure-to-be massive Tomorrowland livestream.
But that’s not all. The scene also delivered the spectrum spanning collection of tracks below. Let’s dig in.
Lost Frequencies Feat. Easton Corbin, “One More Night”
Is it dance music? Is it country music? Have genre lines been decimated to the extent that it barely matters? We’re going with the latter, as Belgian producer Lost Frequencies pairs with American country singer Easton Corbin on the two-stepping electronic lullaby “One More Night.” (Lost Frequencies also dropped an excellent remix of Major Lazer and Marcus Mumford’s similarly genre-blurring “Lay Your Head On Me” this past May.)
“One More Night” is also a full circle moment for the artists, as Corbin was actually the original singer on Lost Frequencies’ 2014 hit, “Are You With Me.” “Having a collaboration with Easton Corbin is something people might not have expected,” the producer says in a statement, “but makes so much sense.”
Damian Lazarus, “Mountain”
When COVID-19 got serious, Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus holed up in the Italian countryside to consider both the state of the world and the new LP he was making. “My early ideas about a new album were quite dark, pessimistic even,” he says in a statement. “I had long been thinking and worrying about the problems of the world. Then the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown began and my fears seemed to become reality. But while writing these themes actually started to transform in an uplifting way. The new songs came together quite quickly, with renewed impetus, and mutated into a more positive outlook. Questions about faith, religion and spirituality all appeared amidst the darkness and fear, but in those times of quiet solitude and creation, I came to realize we can emerge into the sun and flourish on the other side.”
Recorded in the Alps, the first product of this vision quest is “Mountain,” a five minute meditation fusing skittering breakbeats, feathery female vocals and Lazarus doing distorted spoken word — about flames, secrets, mountains and more. Does it have an uplifting effect, must like a mountain itself? It does indeed. The track is the lead single from Lazarus’ forthcoming LP, Flourish.
Winding it up can only lead to one thing: letting it loose. Australian duo Slumberjack do both in equal measure on their latest, “Surrender.” The pair have always done a fantastically sleek and modern take on heavy-hitting bass, and “Surrender” extends this track record with beats that throttle like you want ’em to without ever veering into ear-damage territory. “‘Surrender’ sits in this really unique space between dark, energetic and dreamy moods,” the duo concur in a statement. “Many elements of it are quite uncharted for us as producers and we definitely enjoyed concocting that fine balance of energy.” Trust, you’re going to enjoy it too.
Mat Zo, “Problems”
Some songs just sound like the good kind of trouble, and Mat Zo’s “Problems” is one of them. Slinky, propulsive and tinged with a sort of ’70s psychedelia that builds into pure ’90s rave frenzy, the single plays like the soundtrack to your most recent wild night out. (If, at this point, you can even remember it.) “Problems” is the lead single from the L.A.-based producer’s forthcoming LP, Illusion Of Depth. Out this October, the album will mark Zo’s return to the venerable Anjunabeats, where he released his Grammy-nominated debut album, Damage Control, in 2013 .
“There’s also a lot more live/non-digital elements on this album than my previous work,” Zo says in a statement of the new album. “I was getting really tired of how clean everything is in this corner of dance music. Above all else, I wanted to make an album with grit, texture, and attitude. I wanted to make a f–k you statement to the safe, sugary, fluffy world of a post-EDM trance.” We’re here for it.
Joseph Capriati, “Goa”
If you’ve got a penchant for darkness and seven minutes to spare, buckle up for “Goa,” the latest from Italian techno icon Joseph Capriati. The producer takes his time on this one, cooking up a four minute build of kick drum and other flourishes that ultimately opens up to a sort of soaring spaciousness. “Goa” is the lead single from Capriati’s forthcoming LP Metamorfosi, out September 4 on his Redimension imprint.