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 saw the release of the first-ever collaborative single betwixt Rezz and Zeds Dead, brand new Tokimonsta, a particularly joyful new single from the always joyful Bakermat, and all the fresh sonic goodness below. Let’s dig in.
Claude VonStroke, Freaks & Beaks
In the midst of Dirtybird’s extended 15th anniversary celebration, its fearless leader Claude VonStroke has released his fourth album, Freaks & Beaks. The label has always been something of a sonic playground for producers with off-kilter and plain fun proclivities, but its full-length projects are where artists take risks, get weird and truly soar.
For VonStroke, it’s in the live experimentation of “Session A,” the plucky acid of “Frankie Goes to Bollywood” and the downtempo dreaminess of “Alpine Arpine.” There’s plenty of classic CVS to go around, too: the smooth-riding “Freaks Don’t Fail Me Now,” “All My People in the House” with its “Shake and Pop”-esque synth stabs, the more subdued yet hypnotic deepness of “Youngblood,” a collaboration with up-and-comer Wyatt Marshall and VonStroke’s first track using modular synths.
More than a love letter to Dirtybird, Freaks & Beaks is a showcase of a label and producer evolved. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Jessy Lanza, “Lick in Heaven”
Though Jessy Lanza has been making freestyle lately as one half of The Galleria with Morgan Geist, it’s been four years since we last heard any solo work from the Canadian producer and vocalist. That changes today with Lanza’s new single “Lick in Heaven” on Hyperdub. Co-written by Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan, “Lick in Heaven” is a bright, heavenly slice of experimental pop starring Lanza’s signature breathy voice.
It sounds so sunny and sweet, easily dissolving on the ears, that it’s surprising to hear, in her words, that the song is about “being angry with people and not knowing what to do about it. I find that when I’m a certain combo of sad and angry I reach a point of provocation where I can’t stop myself from going nuclear.” — K.R.
Grandtheft Feat. Yung Tory, “Dripoholic”
Toronto-based producer Grandtheft is known for heavy bass hitters and trap-tinged remixes of dance-pop faves, but his single “Dripoholic” is hip-hop leaning funk that’s fresh as spring time. Plucky synths and strings drip-drop in a soft rainbow palette over a sturdy 808 beat, conjuring a playful mood featuring inspired verses from fellow Toronto citizen Yung Tory.
“[He] is one of my favorite new artists and the next rapper to blow out of Toronto,” Grandtheft is quoted in a press release. “He’s got original flows, melodic sense, and creative energy. We have finished three records together so far and ‘Dripoholic’ is the first one we are dropping. It’s also the first song we made together. We recorded this in my living room on edibles an hour after we met. I feel like there’s a lack of fun rap songs these days, and I’ve been trying to make more slaps like this one.” — KAT BEIN
Dombresky, “Trust The Process” (Boston Bun Remix)
French producer Dombresky learned a lot about honesty since moving to Miami in 2016. He opened up to Billboard Dance readers about his struggles with authenticity and self-confidence while trying to make it in the hectic electronic music world. He came out the other side more sure of his dream than ever, and he gave us the house-inspired groove “Trust The Process.”
Now, the song is celebrated with a high-class disco-funk rework from fellow Frenchman Boston Bun. It’s glitters through the speakers like a burst of champagne, propelling you to shine the rest of your days. We highly recommend gathering your friends for a Soul Train-style dance party. It’s just one of three remixes in a special “Trust The Process” package out now on Insomniac Records. — K. Bein
Seven Lions Feat. Tyler Graves, “Only Now”
Seven Lions has built a career on the seamless fusion of trance and bass, and that singular union — one he refers to as “melodic dubstep” — is on full and glorious display on “Only Now,” the California-based producer’s first solo single in a year and a half. Featuring LA vocalist Tyler Graves, the track is a thrillride of high highs and even higher BPMs that dazzles with cosmic flourishes and truly majestic drops. “Only Now” comes ahead of a Seven Lions summer tour schedule that includes dates at Beyond Wonderland, Bonnaroo and Osheaga. — KATIE BAIN
Jax Jones, Martin Solveig & Raye “Tequila”
Jax Jones and Martin Solveig are always the coolest guys at whatever respective party they land at, and together as their side project Europa, they’re just loads of fun. For evidence, check their just-out collaborative single “Tequila,” a buzzy, slightly dirty-in-a-good-way party starter that pays homage to everyone’s favorite form of liquid courage. The message on the track — sung by British singer Raye, the vocalist on Jones’ 2016 single “You Don’t Know Me” — isn’t really more complicated than, “Hey take a shot of tequila and go dance your ass off,” but on a Friday afternoon, that’s really the only message we want to heed. The ’80s homage music video is also just silly in all the right ways. — K. Bain