This week in dance music: We talked to rising house producer HoneyLuv about music and much more, we broke down the top 20 tracks and artists played at German festival Parookaville last month, Grimes talked about wanting elf ears and Elon had thoughts, we recapped the longstanding royalties dispute around Robin S’ 1993 classic “Show Me Love,” Apple Music cited a 500% growth of DJ Mixes in Africa over the past year, T.I. punched a Chainsmoker, Calvin Harris, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell tracked a top 10 debut as “Stay With Me” entered the top 10 of Dance/Electronic Songs and Zedd and Maren Morris paired up again for their second-ever collab.
Is there more? There is lots more. Let’s dig in.
Hot Chip, Freakout/Release
Hot Chip has never really missed since the 2004 release of their debut LP, and that track record remains pure with the U.K. quintet’s latest, Freakout/Release. The tight 11-track album — Hot Chip’s eighth studio LP, and first since 2019’s A Bath Full of Ecstasy — finds the band delivering its signature melange of warm disco, synth pop and indie electronic that altogether demonstrates their singular ability to balance inventive, genuinely cool dancefloor fare with vulnerable, emotionally sophisticated musings on anxiety and loneliness well-suited for those late night moments when the party is over but you’re still not ready to go to sleep. A rare electronic album that delivers start to finish, Freakout/Release will get traction on the road as Hot Chip — one of the best live acts around — tours behind the LP in Europe, South America and Australia through November. — KATIE BAIN
Sam Divine & Kormak, “I Want You”
As a DJ, radio host, DVINE Sounds label founder and remixer, Sam Divine is, to sum it up, a celebrator of music—but for someone so immersed in the dance-music world, she has relatively few original releases to her name. Today Divine adds another one to her tally with “I Want You,” a joint venture with Aussie artist Kormak, with whom she previously worked on 2019’s “Feelings.” The title of their latest is on its own a rather forward statement, so it makes sense that the production itself is also weighty. “I Want You” delivers a strong groove with yearning vocals made more urgent by insistent chord stabs, screaming synths, tight drum builds and bursts of hissing tension release. “You give me heat! Now I’m losing control,” the vocals wail, “I want you.” It’s a lasting refrain that’s determined to get whatever – or whomever – it wants. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Sudan Archives, “NBPQ (Topless)”
Rare is the artist who immediately grabs your attention with striking visuals and danceable rhythms, then body slams your heart and head with a thoughtful and heartbreaking dose of real-life wisdom. The triple-threat singer, producer and violinist calls the chaotic alt-pop single her “autobiography.” Its lyrics tell the story of a determined diva who overcame trials and triumphs to land in this psychedelic music video wonderland. The song morphs through a forest of moods, tempos and styles; one minute begging listeners to booty pop to hand claps, then stare at the moon to a sad soundtrack of violin moans. We’re absolutely in love, and we’re excited for the release of Archives’ full-length album, Natural Brown Prom Queen, on Sept. 9. – KAT BEIN
Melle Brown feat. Annie Mac, “Feel About You (DJ Koze remix)”
DJ Koze’s remix of Melle Brown’s “Feel About You” sounds like summer love on the cusp of full bloom. To be fair, the original is already a beaut with vocalist and legendary scene figure Annie Mac narrating a magical night out in her gentle yet husky voice. But where the original glides along a smooth, deep-house concourse, Koze provides a slightly choppy piano-house beat that feels brighter, sprightly and warm. The added clips of what sounds like a live crowd recording – the laughs, the whoops, the whistles – tip it into emotional territory, teleporting you back to the festival days and club nights where you’re comfortably buzzed and your cheeks feel flushed, as you look around at your loved ones and wish such a perfect moment could last forever. May we all find and hold onto that feeling. — K.R.
Pat Lok, “Over U”
It’s always a good time for disco, and the clock strikes funky whenever Pat Lok comes around. This week, the Vancouver-bred producer brings a high-energy groove propulsive enough to send his animated avatar through outer space. The video comes courtesy of illustrator Rob Davies and brings bright dimension to the single’s technicolor melodies. Play this one real loud and bounce into the weekend ready to slay. – K. Bein
Juicy Romance, “Hummer”
Melbourne-born, London-based artist Juicy Romance comes hot out the gate with her first single “Hummer,” the video for which is a boozy Y2K homage in full low cut jeans, Juicy Couture, gradient lens sunglasses glory. But don’t let the clip — which features cameos from UK upstart jamesjamesjames and Juicy Romance’s own parents — distract you from the track, itself a fantastically menacing tech house thrill ride through raveland with the BPMs turned all the way up. In fact, Juicy Romance specializes in music at 140 BPM and beyond, having found her sound after stepping away from a career in medicine/ psychology and moving the U.K. to pursue electronic music. We’d say she’s on the right path. “Hummer” is the lead single from Juicy Romance’s Amorous EP, dropping in late September. — K. Bain