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 sees a new EP from the mighty Sofi Tukker, fresh heat from J. Worra and a surprise side project from Party Favor and Nitti Gritti. In addition, we’ve today got a major collab betwixt Gryffin, Gorgon City and AlunaGeorge, a new Cashmere Cat album, the first music in five years from LA producer Teebs and loads more. Let’s dig in.
Gryffin and Gorgon City Featuring AlunaGeorge, “Baggage”
Gryffin is best known for his shiny, pop-leaning dancefloor gems, which can range from mainstream-radio-friendly cuts like “OMG,” with Carly Rae Jepsen and pretty, melodic-bass soundscapes like “All You Need to Know,” a collaboration with Slander featuring Calle Lehmann. So his new one, the deep-house-leaning “Baggage,” was a pleasant surprise when it hit the digital jukeboxes this week.
The track, a massive triple-team output featuring UK house favorites Gorgon City and London-based synthpop duo AlunaGeorge, sees Gryffin stepping out of his comfort zone while keeping true to his pop-centric sound. Whereas the track is built for late-night revelry, care of Gorgon City’s deep low end, “Baggage” –like all of Gryffin’s best work — keeps the glossy melodies and proper songwriting at the core. The track is the latest single from Gryffin’s forthcoming debut album, Gravity, out October 10 via Darkroom/Geffen Records. –– JOHN OCHOA
Bea Miller and Snakehips, “Never Gonna Like You”
“Never Gonna Like You,” from pop songstress Bea Miller, couldn’t have come at a better time. The track, a slow-burning pop jam, is the sonic equivalent of the final days of summer, gently fading away in front of our eyes. UK duo Snakehips, who produced the track, pepper in tropical vibes via soft steel drums atop an equally velvety electronic backdrop, while Miller delivers soulful and sultry vocals over an incredible hook. It’s the sound of a beachside vacation coming to a close as the sun sets one last time. — J. Ochoa
Hold on to your brain matter. Petticoat is about to run you through the rainbow meat grinder. “Greenlight” is a bubble gum stomper with ’80s New Wave attitude and modern production brightness that fans of PC Music, Charli XCX and Cashmere Cat are gonna feel in their bones. The producer lends his own voice to the song, telling a different story about sex workers than one usually hears. “So many songs paint sex workers as needing saving or being in danger,” he is quoted in a press release. “I wanted to make a song that celebrates infatuation over websites and the people who use sex and intimacy as a tool for income. It’s dance-y and fun. The countless instruments and noises popping in and out are a sonic representation of a sex site; pop-ups, malware, medicine scams, and all.” “Greenlight” is one of five songs on his Informat EP. Give it’s whole sparkle some shine. — KAT BEIN
Cashmere Cat, “Without You”
Everyone put two paws together for Cashmere Cat. The Norwegian producer dropped his sophomore LP today. Princess Catgirl is a fierce, independent, humanoid feline, a furry royal in a fantasy world who acts as an extension the music’s personality. “I’m a Norwegian boy, but I’m also a digital cat,” the producer is quoted in a press release. “Princess Catgirl is the album we made together!” The LP features co-production credits from his close friend Benny Blanco, Grammy-nominated experiment queen Sophie, a relatively unknown producer named Airynore and others, as well as a very pitched-up vocal performance from Tory Lanez.
We are especially into the wonky grit of “Without You,” a track that explores all of Cashmere Cats’ moody sides, from noise to R&B, adorable to melancholy. The LP is only seven songs, so definitely give it a full ride. He even Tweeted fans some first-time play instructions: “listen without interruption, if possible play it loud but watch your ears.” –– K. Bein
Teebs, “Mirror Memory”
Five years of relative silence from LA producer Teebs are broken this week with a pair of new and excellent tracks. The first is “Studie,” a collaboration with Panda Bear of Animal Collective that is low-key psychedelia at its finest. The second, “Mirror Memory,” is a particularly sumptuous affair assembled from strings laid over a gently shuffling beat. Together the music forecasts what to expect from Annica, Teebs’ first LP since 2014 that’s out October 25 via Brainfeeder. “It feels like it [the music] comes from a different place now,” the artist says of his new music in a press release. “My inspiration to work has changed and my choices with it. I’ve explored more with what tools and instruments I used and tried to be more open to collaboration.” — KATIE BAIN
Friend Within, “Set You Free”
Friend Within and Toolroom seem like a match made in heaven. The Liverpool producer has become somewhat of a staple on the Mark Knight-helmed label, having released a handful of tracks and EPs over the last 15 months. His latest single, “Set You Free,” induces the giddy high of a sugar rush without the subsequent crash. It’s hard to not get immediately swept up in its beaming piano chords (“I LOVE a piano!” he says), euphoric strings and especially its beautiful, soothing vocals, altogether making for house music that’s about as lush, classy and good as it gets. Even with such a solid discography behind him, this might be Friend Within’s finest work yet. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Roberto Surace, “Joys” (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
The S.O.S. Band’s 1986 hit “The Finest” has lived many lives since its initial release. Over the decades, it has been covered and sampled by artists ranging from MF Doom, to Truce, to Richard X and Kelis. Earlier this year, it rose with a vengeance once again via Roberto Surace’s “Joys” for Defected, a strong “Song of the Summer (and maybe even the Year)” contender and Ibiza’s most-Shazamed track eight weeks running. As the White Isle’s party season slows to a close, “Joys” is maintaining momentum with a remix from the ever-reliable Purple Disco Machine, who in the last year elevated classics like Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You,” Shakedown’s “At Night” and Julien Jabre’s “Swimming Places” with his own interpretations. Here, PDM swaps the original’s brisk, sturdy house groove for something slower, deeper and funkier. –– K. Rodriguez
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