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, a star collection of producers are dropping new music, with fresh heat from Diplo and Sidepiece doing house music, Kaytranada dropping his much anticipated LP Bubba, Four Tet putting his Midas touch on Skrillex and Boys Noize’s Grammy-nominated “Midnight Hour” and other producers out here getting heads nodding and bodies in motion. Let’s dive in.
Kaytranada feat. Charlotte Day Wilson, “What You Need”
Who’s ready for a heaping plate of rich and silky R&Beats? Haitian-Canadian producer Kaytranada’s sophomore album Bubba is only for the grown and sexy. These are sophisticated, adult moods. It’s all chill grooves playing at a steady tempo and level, at times playing like one continuous smooth jam.
The savory 17 tracks feature modern soul favorites Kali Uchi, Masego, Estelle, GoldLink, Tinashe, freaking Pharrell Williams and more. We find the hip-rockin’ groove of “What You Need” with Charlotte Day Wilson to be particularly funky, thanks to the disco synths and subtle walking bass, but definitely don’t skip a luscious second. — KAT BEIN
Skrillex, Boys Noize & Ty Dolla Sign, “Midnight Hour” (Four Tet Remix)
Without a doubt, one of the weirdest tunes of the year was Skrillex and Boys Noize’s non-Dog Blood collab “Midnight Hour,” with Ty Dolla $ign. It’s half experimental rave tune, half R&B jam. It took us a few listens to really get on board, but it was nominated for the Best Dance Recording Grammy, so what do we know? Four Tet’s remix comes right out the gate swingin’ a revamped rhythm, but keeps most of the song’s original elements intact. The new edit adds a unique synth line as it marries the two distinct moods and turns the energy down from disjointed warehouse banger to progressive late-night ride. — K. Bein
Diplo and Sidepiece, “On My Mind”
Could Higher Ground be the best new label of 2019? The Diplo-founded imprint has been on a tear since its inception just three months ago, with releases from Walker & Royce, Djeff, Born Dirty and Mant all showcasing house music’s many flavors from bass-heavy to Afro to ravey tech. Rarely has its head honcho made an appearance thus far, but when he does, it bangs.
Case and point: “On My Mind,” Diplo’s new collaboration with Sidepiece, the newly formed duo of Party Favor and Nitti Gritti. Between its catchy, come-hither vocal (borrowed from 702’s ’90s R&B jam “Steelo”), velvety bassline and barely-there breaths, it’s sweaty and a little naughty. No surprise that it’s been a unanimous (and often enquired-about) highlight in recent Diplo sets. — KRYSTRAL RODRIGUEZ
Baauer and Channel Tres, “Ready to Go” Feat. Danny Brown
Following the release of his fifth album, uknowhatimsayin¿, Danny Brown launched his new iFruit Radio station in Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online yesterday (Dec. 12). Among the station’s rap-dominated tracklist, featuring Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott, Skepta and DaBaby, is a new single featuring the Detroit rapper, “Ready to Go” by Baauer and Channel Tres. It’s an unexpected grouping, but it works: Brown’s frenetic energy is enhanced by Baauer’s festival-sized production, and balanced out by Channel’s cool, collected house vibe. Channel’s music has always sounded like the perfect soundtrack for late-night cruising, but with these rowdy passengers, “Ready to Go” is designed to jack up your adrenaline while speeding and scheming. Fasten your seatbelt. —K.R.
Hot Chip, “Melody of Love” (PBR Streetgang Remix)
Hot Chip has a strong track record with remixes, with Sasha’s edit of their enduring single “Flutes” and Major Lazer’s take on “Look at Where We Are” both firmly placed in the all-time-great category. Today, the beloved UK synth-pop has extended their edit canon with a slew of new takes on “Hungry Child” and “Meldoy of Love” from their excellent 2019 LP A Bathful of Ecstacy.
Standouts include those by KiNK and Locum, although the one that most grabs our ears is from UK duo PBR Streetgang, who deliver a hypnotic eight-and-a-half minute “Melody of Love” remix. The edit turns the track is a sweeping, stomping epic that builds and builds until Hot Chip vocalist Alexis Taylor breaks through, by which point you feel like you may actually be floating. — KATIE BAIN
Cassian, “Magical” (Cassian Remix)
What happens when you remix yourself? In the case of Australian producer Cassian, you make an already good thing better. This week the producer dropped three remixes of his 2019 track “Magical,” and his take on himself is a standout in which the vibey original transforms into dark, driving peak time banger. Out via Rüfüs du Sol’s Rose Avenue imprint, the remixes round out a big year for Cassian, who recently nabbed his first Grammy nomination for his work on Rufus’ hit “Underwater” and also released two massive singles of his own, including “Magical” and “Same Things,” featuring Gabrielle Current. — Katie Bain