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.
Wherever you’re doing your music listening these days — at home, on long drives in the car or in your headphones while strolling aimlessly around your neighborhood — its a fact that while nightclubs remain shuttered, the dance world is continuing to deliver the heat. This week sees releases from several high-profile artists, along with producers who are on the rise and worthy of your earspace. Let’s dig in.
CamelPhat & Artbat Feat. Rhodes, “For a Feeling”
The collaborative single from the white hot CamelPhat and rising Ukrainian duo Artbat arrives with a boatload of hype — the track is already No. 1 on Beatport — buzz that the single efficiently lives up to. On a white hot streak following the hits “Cola,” “Be Someone,” and their previous 2020 single “Freak,” CamelPhat continues delivering the heat, working with Artbat to amalgamate a tough deep house beat with sinuous melodies that unfurl like curls of smoke. Those bummed about missing Burning Man this year might take solace in the very 5 a.m.-at-Robot-Heart vibes of “For a Feeling,” which is the first collaborative single from CamelPhat’s forthcoming debut LP. — KATIE BAIN
Habstrakt, “Show Me”
Sometimes you want house music that cuts like the edge of a knife. So it goes with “Show Me,” the latest single from Habstrakt. The producer’s first release via Insomniac Records, an imprint currently having its own hot streak with recent releases by Joyryde and Born Dirty, the track is a hyphy dancefloor weapon that’s sharp in all the right ways. “I went and messed around with a UK bass line on this one,” the producer says in a statement, “something I can’t really say I’ve ever done before. Wrote this one in southern France during my holidays in November last year and it’s been destroying dance floors all over the world ever since. This record is about breaking boundaries, about me showing all the faces of my house.” — K. Bain
Cassian is on a hot streak. The Australian producer was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year for his remix of Rüfüs du Sol‘s “Underwater” and today (April 24) he releases “Laps” the eponymous lead single from his forthcoming debut LP. The melodic house production is driving, transportive and well-suited for the very late hours of the evening, or just a fast drive on an empty road during any old hour of the day.
“Laps is about closure, the end of a journey and the beginnings of a new one,” Cassian says in a statement. “It’s about a linear path that starts in one place and ends in a different one.” The Laps LP is out on June 26 via Rüfüs du Sol’s Rose Avenue imprint. — K. Bain
Maya Jane Coles feat. Claudia Kane, “Run To You”
For the last year, Maya Jane Coles has been putting in serious work on her Nocturnal Sunshine side-project, including an album, Full Circle, and her first Essential Mix under the alias (and her fourth overall). Now, she’s bringing the focus back to MJC. Today, the U.K. producer is back with “Run to You,” featuring vocalist Claudia Kane.
The single, according to Coles, has been an oft-requested ID after her live gigs; last week, one internet user asked for Reddit’s help in identifying the track after Lane 8 played it during a livestream. Kane’s captivating twang rings out with such clarity over Coles’ production, a brooding groove more like a rhythmic skulk with its trance-y arpeggios and guitars reverbing into the abyss.
According to Coles’ interview with Beatportal in March, a new MJC album is also on the way. “I moved away, and now I’m dipping back in,” she said. “It’s nice to have time out from different sounds and different projects to focus on; it’s important for me that things never feel stale.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Black Coffee Feat. Sabrina Claudio, “Sbcncsly”
Back in March of 2019, South African house icon Black Coffee posted a video clip of himself in the studio with R&B singer Sabrina Claudio. “What just happened here was magic,” he said of the track they made that day, entirely from scratch. “I think this song is gonna be a classic.”
Bold words, but Black Coffee just might be right. More than a year after he first shared that clip, that collaboration is finally here. “Sbcncsly” is an indulgent slice of dusky, cerebral deep house that worms itself into the deepest folds of the brain. Claudio’s breathy timbre, especially, makes this track as bewitching as it is, as she sings about closing oneself off to love until the time is right. Combined with delicate piano flourishes, a string-filled breakdown and an understated groove, it’s haunting and introspective, wistful yet ultimately hopeful. So, a classic? Time will tell, but for now “Sbcncsly” is definitely a vibe for night’s longest, loneliest hours. — K.R.
SG Lewis, “Chemicals”
You know that feeling when you meet someone special? They make your eyes see stars and put a tornado in your stomach. You’ll do anything they ask of you, because you’re too dizzy to discern right from wrong. That’s the fault of oxytocin, the so-called “love chemical” our brain releases when we’re deep in connection with another soul. It’s also the inspiration for “Chemicals,” SG Lewis’ sunset disco groove and the first single from the artist’s forthcoming debut album.
“Chemicals’ is about being convinced to try something new by someone you’re infatuated with and the emotions that follow,” Lewis says in a press release. “It’s about feeling helpless knowing the control that person has over you, but knowing that deep down, you love that fact. The song is written about one specific night out I experienced in London a while back. I started the song late one night in L.A. with Julian Bunetta — then Steph Jones helped us lyric the song the next day. Finally, Julian and I were working with Chad [Hugo, N*E*R*D/The Neptunes] the next week, and we got him to play the synth line you hear.” — KAT BEIN
It’s been two years since UK-based Iglooghost released a tune, but with the dreamlike “Amu,” he’s certainly stayed busy. The gritty electronic beat is juxtaposed by an angelic children’s choir who tell the story of a magical land rich with tradition. The video is just as lush and mysterious: Directed by Luke Gibson with 3D animation by Christopher Casey Denton, we watch as Iglooghost and his Amuian friend float through an urban wasteland chased by adorable enemies. It’s fantastical, beautiful and strange, kind of like the multi-site scavenger hunt Iglooghost sent fans on in order to discover the track. According to a press release, four “stones” were hidden on “ancient website” that led discord members to more hints and clues, downloading bits and pieces of tracks with morse code and other messages to finally reach the prize.
“Mixing these kinds of experiences with storytelling and magic-realism was a really fun way to get tons of crazy weirdos in a chatroom cracking codes and spamming text at lightning speed,” Iglooghost says. “To me, treating the Internet like a huge, expansive wilderness feels like a way more tantalizing prospect than just staying cooped up on the same three social networks everyday.” — K. Bein