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 into the digital crates to present absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of fresh jams.
This week saw another Diplo country collab with the Jonas Brothers, a brooding banger from Bonnie x Clyde, some tight techno work from Giorgia Angiuli and more, but Friday comes through with even more ear goodies. There’s a bittersweet love explosion from Ducky, a feel-good fall tune from Zedd and Kehlani, a weird little popper from Boys Noize and more. Dive in deep with our list below and boogie all weekend.
Love isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, we find ourselves enamored against our will. It’s exciting and all-together horrifying, because you know what kind of pain can come from a broken heart. You’re hurting yourself more if you don’t give in to love, though, and Ducky’s latest puts the roller-coaster rush of a new crush in hyper-saturated dimensions with breakneck beats and rave-ready synths for a tune that shows she’s taken great strides both emotionally and artistically. “Glue is a lightly tortured love song,” she is quoted in a press release. “It’s about falling for someone when you still have intimacy issues and trying to pry yourself open for them. It’s sweetness and tension at the same time, because that’s what intimacy is when you’re damaged. It’s joy, and it’s healing, and it’s uncomfortable, and it hurts – all in the same breath.” — Kat Bein
Zedd with Kehlani, “Good Thing”
Over the last few years, Zedd found his footing and planted it firmly in the Top 40 landscape, counting among his collaborators star vocalists such as Maren Morris, Alessia Cara and most recently, Katy Perry. Today, he’s back with a new partner in Kehlani for “Good Thing,” a slick, swinging pop-R&B ditty that champions self-love and being single. “I already got a good thing with me/ Yeah, I already got everything I need,” Kehlani sings. “The best things in life are already mine/ Don’t tell me that you got a good thing for me.” Consider cuffing season canceled. — Krystal Rodriguez
Sad news broke last week when Dutch trio Noisia announced it would disband in 2020. The group is revered for 20 years of constant technical evolution, but each members has different creative dreams, and Noisia was never about compromise. We don’t yet know what each member will do in his solo career, but Thys gives us a glimpse with a double-sided release of gritty tunes from the experimental ballet Sleeping Beauty Dreams which he scored last year. “Lucid” and “Overcome” have been reworked to reflect a singular sonic storyline, rather than conforming to the ballet’s needs. Both songs explore the same moody motif, with “Lucid” acting as light and “Overcome” as its deeper, darker sister. You should really listen to both, out now on Noisia’s Division Recordings, but we’re giving you the grittier side, just to get you hooked. — KB
Boys Noize & Francis and the Lights, “Why Not?”
Although Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, made his name in the dance world with his raucous, adrenaline-spiking hybrid of electro and techno, the German producer’s adventures beyond the neon confines of clubland have been just as thrilling. His latest, a suave, disco-inspired collaboration with Francis and the Lights called “Why Not?”, is finally here nearly 36 weeks after Ridha teased the teamup on Instagram. Somehow, we have Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to thank for it. Apparently, the two shared a spontaneous studio session last year at Vernon’s People festival, an event created specifically to catalyze these kinds of wishlist combinations. Though “Why Not?” still has dance groove, its lowkey nature feels more right for car cruising or a relaxed hangout with friends. That it stands out among other high-profile collabs with Skrillex and Ty Dolla $ign and A$AP Rocky is a testament to its quality. — KR
J Rick, “Me & You”
London-based producer J Rick dedicates his eight-track debut mixtape No Retreat No Surrender to his uncle, the famous British boxer Errol Christie. The mixtape title was Christie’s life motto, and his broadcasted quotations weave in and out of the expertly-produced offering. Jazz, hip-hop, garage and vast indie spaces combine in a sweet sort of sonic wonder, but “Me & You” with its classic Cassie sample is the cut we can’t stop moving to. Glitched-out textures and body-rumblin’ bass give the familiar favorite new thickness, exactly the kind of song you could drop on a busy crowd to get them riled up and wondering “what the hell is this?” The whole mixtape is a knock-out, so give it a listen in full, via Rick’s own Essie and Warner Music. — KB
Ed Sheeran feat. Camila Cabello & Cardi B, “South of the Border [Cheat Codes Remix]”
If two’s company and three’s a crowd, then six must be a party when Cheat Codes is involved. After collaborating with Sofia Reyes and Willy William for their last single “Highways,” the LA electronic trio take on the star-studded pop triumvirate of Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Cardi B with their remix of “South of the Border.” On its own, the original — off Sheeran’s fourth studio album, No. 6 Collaborations Project — is saucy, sultry and slow. Under Cheat Codes’ control, it doesn’t deviate too far — why fix something that’s not broken? — but assumes a more mainstage-friendly form with a bigger bassline and a tempo increase that adds a sense of urgency. — KR
Hoki, “Land of Our Dead (Matthias Meyer remix)”
Matthias Meyer’s remix of Hoki’s latest single, “Land of Our Dead,” sounds like summer’s swan song. Dating back to their debut in July, the Montreal indie-electronic duo has made ballads teeming with rawness and an almost haunting vulnerability, yet Meyer manages to inject the remix with even more emotion. At nearly nine minutes long, it’s not for instant-gratification seekers, but the patience pays off. The longtime Watergate resident turns the ambient-leaning original into more dance floor-friendly fare via a soft kick-drum; wistful, soaring synths and bass that looms from behind like inevitable nightfall, complete with chirping accents and what sounds like recorded bird calls. Only about halfway through do we finally hear the first of Hoki’s lyrics: “Wait. Breathe. Hold on…” An emotional gut punch that in the right hands could be a perfect yet bittersweet set closer. — KR