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 absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of jams.
We did deep dives on a few releases this week. We spoke to Belgian scene icon Lee Burridge about his debut album Melt, a 10-track mind trip 25 years in the making. We gave special attention to Major Lazer‘s big Beyoncé collaboration “Already,” as part of her recent Lion King-inspired compilation album, and we took a close look at Skrillex‘s surprise double-sided EP Show Tracks.
Big dudes aside, there’s music coming out from some of the hottest names on the scene. French favorites Polo & Pan are back, Phantoms dropped an EP, Skrill’s friend Mija has a dark new tune, and Jauz teased a bit of a label comp on the way. There are big remixes, sexy vibes and dance-pop perfection on our list. Check out these must-hear tracks below.
Polo & Pan – “Gengis”
Strap in and leave your inhibitions at home as Polo & Pan take you on a journey through the deserts and grasslands of northern Asia. It’s the duo’s first original release since its successful and sonically-groundbreaking 2017 debut album Caravelle. “Gengis” is more than seven-minutes long with enchanting peaks, valleys and explorations in between. There’s new ground here, but classic Polo & Pan groove sets in halfway through. “Gengis is our esoteric brainchild,” the duo tells Billboard Dance in a joint statement. “We wanted to mix a bit of Burning Man, a bit of French touch, and a tad of our signature sounds. We had a lot of fun recording every flute, vocals and synth on this track. Gengis is the perfect soundtrack for your family vacation on a wild horse in the Mongolian step. — KAT BEIN
Channel Tres – “Sexy Black Timberlake” (SG Lewis Remix)
Have you ever decided you liked a track just by its title alone? What’s not to love about “Sexy Black Timberlake?” Shout out Justin, but Channel Tres brings a whole new kind of sexy back on his soulful original. The up-and-comer recently announced his support on forthcoming tours from Childish Gambino and Toro y Moi. British producer SG Lewis comes through and puts even more disco pizzaz on this inspired groove, moving the track from bedroom sidewind to full afro and bell-bottom brilliance. The rapturious remix is out on Godmode, and it’s got all these bitches going crazy, so watch your old lady, man, before it’s too late. — K. Bein
Phantoms – “Hold On (Can’t Slow Down)”
Get ready to pick up speed on this slow burn delight. “Hold On (Can’t Slow Down)” is the closer on Phantom’s seven-track Disconnect EP. It comes on anxious with muted excitement and builds the tension toward a strobe-light finish. We’re quite partial to its droning edge, but the full Disconnect EP is out now on Casablanca, featuring previously-released singles “Say It,” “Designs For You” and “Are You Up.” It’s a dark one made for late-night creepin’ with extra helpings of after-hour malaise. The group will support the EP on tour throughout North America this fall, so look out for Phantoms in your town. — K. Bein
Ólafur Arnalds – “they sink” (Tokimonsta Remix)
Follow that Phantoms’ mood with the reflective atmosphere of this dreamy Tokimonsta take. Icelandic artist Ólafur Arnalds is a Grammy-nominated musician, and his original piano-driven piece is full of solemn ambience and twilight glow. The LA beat maker picks up the room with a danceable beat that still leaves room for lounging on shag carpets and long, languid afternoons. It’s jazzy, spacy and downright beautiful. Get lost in these sepia shades as long as you can. — K. Bein
Ina Wroldsen – “Forgive or Forget” (R3hab Remix)
Norwegian singer Ina Wroldsen is no stranger to the world of dance collaborations, and honestly, her tracks are electric dance jams in their own right. “Forgive or Forget” is a modern disco sing-along, but there was yet room for shimmering synths and even higher moments of club-forward ecstacy. Enter R3hab, one of the best remixers in the game. The Dutch producer pumps the jam with even brighter lights, more soulful keys and a vibrant instrumental hook to get you jumpin on the VIP couches and throwing fistfuls of glitter. — K. Bein
Jauz & i_o – “Truth”
Ready, get set, rave to this tech groove from Jauz and Billboard Dance One to Watch alumni i_o. “Truth” is a bubblin-pot of anthemic build, with early two-minutes of tension growing under the skin toward a drop-down-disco break. “I_o and I have been friends for something like 7 years now and watching him create this new project from scratch and seeing its growth has been so much fun,” Jauz is quoted in a press relaese. “We wrote truth in basically a day flat, just kept trying different bass lines and drums and samples, and once we found that main vocal, everything really fell into place.” “Truth” is just one drop of heat from a 10-track tech-house compiltion set to come from Jauz’ Bite This! label later this month. — K. Bein
Jonas Blue – “I Wanna Dance”
EDM phenom Jonas Blue bangs it out on his new track “I Wanna Dance,” which features a mega-sized marimba-flavored synth and a hollowed out reverse drop reminiscent on Martin Garrix’s all time banger “Animals.” The first track out via Blue’s Astralwerks imprint Electronic Nature, the British producer says, in a press release, that the song’s hook “came to me when I was in bed and just in that lucid moment between consciousness and sleep…I jumped out of bed and recorded a voice note of the vocal hook and I went into the studio the next day fully inspired.” I Wanna Dance” certainly isn’t sleepy, instead hitting a peak club time vibe that will surely send the Euro ravers crazy when Blue drops it during his set tomorrow night at Tomorrowland. — KATIE BAIN
Mija – “Sweat It Out”
LA hero Mija gets sweaty and sensual with her new single “Sweat It Out,” a deep house cut that simmers start to finish. Accompanied by a dually luxe video and out via DJ Haus’ Hot Haus Records, “Sweat It Out” demonstrates that the heat of summer doesn’t have to exist exclusively in the sunlight. Also check the eerie, deconstructed remix by Frankfurt producer Ludwig A.F. Röhrscheid. — K. Bain