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.
In additon to the week’s new releases from Nicky Romero in ballad mode and Felix Jaehn and Vize doing their take on a Dido classic, this week we’ve got new music from a crew of big time artists — including Griz and AC Slater, David Guetta releasing music under his Jack Back alias, fresh heat from Mat Zo, and much more. Let’s dig in.
Jack Back & Tom Staar, “Body Beat”
When David Guetta is in David Guetta mode, he’s playing the biggest stages in the world and dropping commensuratly massive EDM hits for his millions of worldwide fans. When David Guetta is making music as his alter ego, Jack Back, the vibe is decidedly darker, clubbier and less accessible — but no less enticing, with the venerable French producer going into this underground mode today with “Body Beat.” A collaboration with English producer Tom Staar, “Body Beat” is a peak-hour club banger with layers of percussion (do we hear bongos?!) and just enough rave siren to remind you that it’s David Geutta. The track rises to a frenzied pinnacle and release via the “this beat is all over my body!” chorus, and is out now via Mark Knight’s always-killer Toolroom imprint. — KATIE BAIN
Galantis & Bali Bandits, “Miracle”
Dance music duo Galantis has certainly created anticipation for their latest album, Church, releasing a steady stream of singles featuring all-star (and delightfully non-sequitur) collaborators including Passion Pit and the queen Dolly Parton. As their earlier hits including “Runaway (U & I) and “Peanut Butter Jelly” demonstrated, these guys have a sweet spot for making music that sounds like a sentient Lisa Frank folder, with that unicorns-and-glitter-party vibe very much present throughout Church, and especially on “Miracle,” a collab with Dutch duo Bali Bandits. The song has a wind-up toy quality, building into a relentlessly joyful plea for a miracle that might just made you feel like you’ve experienced one by the time the track is over. Out today (Feb. 7) Church also features collabs with Yellow Claw and Hook N Sling. — K. Bain
Mat Zo, “The Next Chapter”
Mat Zo might not be one of the flashiest producers in the scene, but he is one of the most consistent, releasing smart, exciting and always deeply cool electronic productions for more than a decade now. His latest single, “The Next Chapter,” is a relentless ride through hyperspace that falls into that dark, sweet spot between techno and trance. Out via the venerable Anjunabeats, the track shares a name with Zo’s upcoming The Next Chapter tour, which sees the producer playing dates in the U.S., Europe and Canada through May. — K. Bain
Whethan feat. Grandson, “All In My Head”
Dance-punk is back, baby. Last week, we got Gorillaz doing their best impression of The Clash with Slowthai and Slaves. Today, Chicago pop-crossover Whethan proves his baby face has serious teeth. “All In My Head” features big beat drums, heavy fuzz guitars and cocky-snot talk-singing from Grandson. It’s an alt-bop explosion good enough to leave on repeat. This one goes out to all the teenagers brimming with anxious boredom, the old heads who remember when clubbing was messy, and anyone who likes to get their pogo on in the back of the dance floor. “All In My Head” is the latest single from Whethan’s forthcoming debut LP Fantasy, due for release later this year with a tour kicking off in late March. We’ve already listened to this song some 20 times and it’s still not enough, so get on in there. — KAT BEIN
Griz, “Could U”
If anyone ever said Griz can’t funk, “Could U” puts the haters on watch. It opens sly and coy, like a glance across the room, then builds in rhythmic intensity as you shake those hips across the floor and make your move. By the time Griz drops the hook, you’re head over heels in love. So was AC Slater, who just released the tune on his label Night Bass after meeting Griz on The Friendship.
“I was in my cabin getting some sleep when I heard house music pumping from one of the other cabins via the mobile DJ set up,” AC Slater tells Billboard Dance. “It was really good. My wife thought it was possibly Griz DJing. The next day, I got an email with the ‘Could U’ demo from Griz. It was such a wild coincidence… and I’ve never gotten a demo or email from him before. The song was fire. We couldn’t stop listening to it.” He says “Could U” was just destined for Night Bass, and you’re destined to funk all night to this beat. — K. Bein
Vaporwave is a lifestyle, and Amtrac’s latest single “Accountable” is king of sonic aesthetics. It’s not actually made from ’80s soft jazz samples, but it’s got all the hazy, VHS-tracker vibes of mid 2000s glo-fi at its best. It’s a love song, really, with dreamy, original vocals from the producer whose singing features prominently on his forthcoming sophomore LP Oddyssey, due out this spring. “Accountable” follows previously released tunes “Between The Lines” and “Radical,” the latter of which features co-production from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. “Accountable” is also the mood we want to ride through the rest of winter, when the air is a little chilly, but exciting, and full of anticipation for what’s to come. — K. Bein