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 we’ve got massive sounds from Illenium, a new collection from Pryda, a hard-hitter from ShockOne and Whethan and loads more. Let’s dive in.
Oliver Tree feat. Whethan “Do You Feel Me”
Oliver Tree is the class clown from 2001, who burst through time and space on a Razor scooter to induce pink-and-teal-tinged sonic fever dreams. His voice drops with snotty assurance in the best punk rock way, and rings instantly-recognizable over his forward-thinking electro-pop productions.
Today Tree drops his sophomore EP Do You Feel Me, the title track of which features co-production credits from dance-pop wizard Whethan and some wonderfully crunchy guitars. It’s filtered vocals and industrial stomp gives us hints of Nine Inch Nails, and its upbeat indie-disco vibe on the second drop is reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem. It’s a lyrical ode to the outsiders who get their day-glow from within, whether or not the world is ready for that shine. Glow on and listen to the EP, out via Atlantic Records, in full. — KAT BEIN
Pryda, “The Riddle”
Fresh from fully blowing the minds of 100,000 festival attendees with his EPIC 6.0 performance at Tomorrowland, the king Eric Prydz delivers Pryda 15 Vol. II, a collection of progressive house long-players from his revered Pryda project. Among the collection’s eight stellar tracks is “The Riddle,” which distinguishes itself from the pack with a legitimately funky bassline that creates the foundation for shimmering synths to shine over, before the whole thing blasts off into the cosmos. It’s altogether nine minutes of blissful hypnosis from one of the scene’s most consistent and innovative artists. — KATIE BAIN
ShockOne feat. Cruz Patterson, “Bleed Black”
Australia’s ShockOne invites you to face your darkest thoughts head-on in his blistering new LP, A Dark Machine. Inspired by ’80s sci-fi film soundtracks, the 13-track album features brain-busting drum’n’bass rhythms, hair-raising analog synths and mood-melting melodies.
“The album is about navigating that internal neurotic conversation that everyone’s having with themselves and how, sometimes, it can be quite a dark place,” the producer says via a press relase. “We need to accept the bad parts of ourselves, accept the dark thoughts, accept that irrational impending sense of doom. And that rather than running from it, or fighting it, or ignoring it, it’s learning to have a conversation with it and accept that it exists.” “Bleed Black” is one of the album’s wildest tracks, an adrenaline-fueled adventure of sound, so let that be your taste test. — K. Bein
Few producers are so skilled at melding the ethereal and the pummeling, but Denver-based phenom Illenium has made the dichotomy his trademark. He extends this signature aesthetic with “Blood,” featuring Irish vocalist Foy Vance — known worldwide for his work with Ed Sheeran. This track hits hard with glitchy, mechanical bass drops, but still maintains the celestial flourishes and stripped down interludes to pack that hug-your-best-friend-whilst-at-the-rave emotional punch. “Blood” knocks down everything in its path ahead of the release of Illenium’s LP Ascend, out via Astralwerks on August 16. — K. Bain
“Possession” is one of those tracks so good that you might actually have to stop dancing for a second when you hear it at the club, just to spend a moment in awe of everything that’s happening. The melodic trance banger by Los Angeles-based producer i_o launches with a signature kick drum, to which is added frenetic beat layer; then subtact the kickdrum, add a very Green Velvet-style vocal, add the kickdrum back in and ride it out for a minute before a siren synth takes the entire operation to the next level. Coming from i_o’s four track House of God EP, out today via Mau5trap, “Posession” is dark, massive and entirely undeniable. — K. Bain
Manic Focus – “Lyrebird” Feat. Dominic Lalli & Borahm Lee
Just in time for his Lollapalooza debut this Sunday, this Chicago-based producer lets loose a perfect piece of jazzy atmosphere to lift you toward blue skies. “Lyrebird” flows easy with a funkadelic kick, awhile keeping Big Gigantic’s Dominic Lalli on hand for his dream-weaving sax work. Manic Focus also tapped Borahm Lee, keyboardist for Pretty Lights and Break Science, to shoot rainbow-colored sparkles through its breezy melody. The song is a cut from his forthcoming album Lost in a Digital World, due in full next month. — K. Bein
Franklin & Digital Farm Animals feat. Sorana, “Drowning”
Jump in the deep end of this pop-forward house groove from Franklin and Digital Farm Animals. Sorana’s airy vocals only pull your further under this tide, but with this one it’s hotter under the water. We want to especially congratulate Franklin, for whom this tune is his first original single. Digital Farm Animals discovered the producer online years ago, and have since helped mentor him towards work with Steve Aoki and others.
Franklin feels it’s perfectly fitting that his original debut come hand-in-trotter with his first industry supporter. “’Drowning’ makes me feel immortal,” Digital Farm Animals says via press release. “Franklin is going to be the biggest DJ/ producer in the world, and if he isn’t I’ll eat my hat. Full disclosure: I don’t own any hats.” –– K. Bein
Safia have fully blown up in their native Australia, with good reason. The broad evidence lies in their hundreds of thousands of streams and string of festival sets. More specifically, they prove themselves with “Runaway,” which comes from the trio’s sophomore LP Story’s Start or End, out August 9. At first the track plays like a pop jam, with Ben Woolner’s voice as the star — then the operation lifts off with a massive (and massively catchy) peak, built of soaring percussion layers, and delivering a major Odesza vibe. Also check their ace cover of Queens of the Stone Age’s “No One Knows,” performed for Australian radio station Triple J’s Like a Version cover series. — K. Bain