This week in dance music: Everything But the Girl announced their first album in 24 years is coming this April; Calvin Harris, The Chemical Brothers, Eric Prydz’s renowned HOLO show and a strong crew of other dance acts were included on the 2023 Coachella lineup, Marco Carola, Camelphat, Gordo and more were announced for March’s SXM Festival in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, The Chainsmokers shared some personal news, Iranian producers Dubfire, Lady Faith and Starfari reflected on the ongoing protests in Iran, the aforementioned Harris shared a selfie of he and longtime collaborator Ellie Goulding in the studio together, Richie Hawtin announced an education-focused techno tour happening this March, Skrillex, Fred again.. and Flowdan’s “Rumble” debuted on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Insomniac Events announced a rave cruise called, naturally, EDSea.
That’s a lot! But is there more? You know there’s more. Let’s dig in.
M83, “Oceans Niagara”
Prepare thyself. M83 is back, and we’re going “beyond adventure” into epic territories where synths shine like neon diamonds and the horizon glows in massive walls of sound. “Oceans Niagara” is a cinematic overture of a lead single, the first taste of things to come from the project’s forthcoming album Fantasy, due out March 17. The album is the first from M83 since 2019’s DSVII.
“I wanted this record to be very impactful live,” says M83’s Anthony Gonzalez, the man behind the music. “The idea was to come back with something closer to the energy of Before the Dawn Heals Us. The combination of guitars and synths is always in my music, but it’s maybe more present on this new record than on the previous ones.”
“Oceans Niagara” is bold, explosive and mostly instrumental. It’s got a cool, colorful music video that feels warm and fuzzy with ‘80s nostalgia. It’s definitely got us hyped for this new era.
“It’s the very first collaboration between my brother Yann Gonzalez and myself on a music video,” Gonzalez continues. “I wanted to create this sense of friendship. Listening to that song, I imagine people running, driving fast or riding spaceships together. It’s this sense of going forward, like a magic potion that you take to discover new worlds. Beyond Adventure!” – KAT BEIN
SG Lewis feat. Charlotte Day Wilson & Channel Tres, “Fever Dreamer”
With two weeks to go until SG Lewis releases his latest album, AudioLust & HigherLove, the U.K. producer has shared another preview in the form of new single “Fever Dreamer.” The song features friends old and new: Canadian singer-songwriter Charlotte Day Wilson and Compton’s Channel Tres, who previously guested on Lewis’ “Impact” in 2020. Together, they turn “Fever Dreamer” into a sultry disco daydream, a romantic fantasy which Lewis says is about “all-consuming admiration for someone.” Wilson’s smoky, rich vocals melt into the flirty bassline and swirling synths, while Channel lets flow his lyrics with his signature suave nonchalance. With a chorus that approaches transcendence, “Fever Dreamer” is near-delirious delight. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Whyte Fang, “Transport God”
Alison Wonderland isn’t messing around with her Whyte Fang project, which showcases the Australian producer’s harder, indeed sharper-toothed side. The latest is “Transport God,” a hard, doomy, heady head-banger that delivers the first drop within its first five seconds. And we like that.
The track, like all forthcoming Whyte Fang material, is out via FMU Records, launched by Wonderland last month to service her Whyte Fang releases and music by other rising producers. Whyte Fang will also make its Coachella debut, with the project included on the lineup that dropped earlier this week. — KATIE BAIN
Amtrac, “Heard Me Right”
Time is money, especially when paying for parking in the big city. Thank goodness Amtrac is here to be the change.
The Kentucky-bred, Los Angeles-based artist is gearing up for the release of his forthcoming third album Extra Time, and to celebrate the release of his fourth LP single “Heard Me Right,” he danced through the streets of L.A., walkman and change purse in hand, doling out quarters to unsuspecting parkers throughout the urban sprawl. “It was a fun passion project between me and (director) Greg Sheppard,” he says. “A man takes it upon himself to provide the people of greater Los Angeles with little ‘Extra Time.’ He can dance, he is strong and he has plenty of coins.”
“Heard Me Right” was actually the first song Amtrac finished for the album. It came together during the peak of COVID-19 lockdown in mid 2020, and he says it stood as a “sort of light at the end of the tunnel.” The hazy synth hook does sound hopeful, if a bit trepidatious in its optimism, as Amtrac sings of pieces falling into place and something to hold on to. Let this moving mix of rhythmic bass lines and atmospheric melodies help you to lose yourself in a better tomorrow, and pay it forward if you can! – K. Bein
Ruth Royall, “Walk Through Fire”
Ruth Royall throws her sorrows to the flames on her new single, “Walk Through Fire.” The Bristol-hailing artist, a longtime vocalist for drum & bass producers like Makoto, Pola & Bryson and Mollie Collins, last year stepped into her own solo career. On “Walk Through Fire,” her soulful singing of lost love smolders and swells alongside the raging production, whose increasing percussive energy erupts with the force of a gas explosion — grief and fury, each fueled by the other. “When did we get so lost?” she cries. “I always had my heart on my sleeve / I loved you carelessly.”
“The song is about loving someone so much that you would literally walk through fire for them, but realizing that they don’t love you in the same way,” Royall says. “Feeling like you wasted your youth loving someone who doesn’t feel the same. Giving your whole self to someone and even when you are completely honest they give you nothing back.” — K.R.
The Chainsmokers feat. Cheyenne Giles, “Make Me Feel”
Okay yes, The Chainsmokers made headlines earlier this week by disclosing some of the extracurricular activities of their early tour days. (And really, no one deserves to be shamed for sexual choices made among consenting adults!) The pair also dropped a new track, and, much like the news that preceded it, it’s something of a surprise, with the pair — who as of late have been found in a more pop-forward/experimental mode — going full dancefloor, synthesizing ’90s house, tech-house, a lift of the immortal sax hook to The Lafayette Afro Rock Band’s “Darkest Light” (previously borrowed by everyone from Wreckx-n-Effect to Jay-Z) and a funky, big-ass drop. Made in collaboration with San Diego producer and friend of Les ‘Smokers Cheyenne Giles, and — surprise again! — out now via Tiësto’s Musical Freedom label. — K. Bain