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.
This week, a few long-anticipated projects have finally arrived. Kygo is celebrating today’s release of his new album Golden Hour with a livestream festival happening this evening, while Diplo put his money where his cowboy hat is and dropped his country LP. (More on that below.) We’re also currently still reliving last weekend’s Lightning In a Bottle livestream, absorbing Alan Walker’s majestic remix of Hans Zimmer’s “Time” and, as Pacific Asian Heritage month comes to an end, celebrating producers with roots in that part of the world.
But that’s not all, because below we’ve got music from Baauer, Boys Noize, Jayda G and more. Let’s dig in.
The streets of Minneapolis are on fire, burning with centuries of pain, rage and frustration. This is a time for all Americans to come together and stand in solidarity with real people who have suffered real injustices for far too long. I saw a man on Unicorn Riot’s on-the-ground live stream coverage last night say that “this is what happens when black, white, Latin, Chinese, whatever – people come together,” and that truth felt not violent but hopeful.
Fires also burn in the streets of Baauer’s “Reachupdontstop” video, for the third single from his forthcoming sophomore LP, Planet’s Mad. In this video, humans and aliens come together to dance in the street. They celebrate the destruction of an old way of life and never stop reaching for something powerful and new. The song’s heavy, jungle sounds are inspired by ‘90s big beat classics, The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, but with sharper, deeper cutting bass edges. It’s the perfect mix of chaos and enlightenment to soundtrack this moment in history. Listen to it all night long, and donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund while you’re at it. — KAT BEIN
The Brothers Macklovitch, “Get Love To Get Some” Feat. Leven Kali
Some songs feel like stepping into warm water, and that’s what A-Trak and Chromeo singer Dave-1’s horn-laced hug achieves. Jazzy R&B and ‘90s house grooves come together on this buttery love song, on which The Brothers Macklovitch demonstrate their agility in getting two souls closer on a dance floor. Dutch-born singer and producer Leven Kali brings some of his L.A.-based sunshine to the topline, covering the song in burnt yellows and sunset orange hues. It’s the instrumental breakdowns that really blow our mind, though. Put on your headphones and get lost in the bubbling bass lines which bloom in both organic and electronic varieties. The trumpet echoes are a lovely touch, boys. Keep this energy coming all year, please. — K. Bein
Jayda G, “Both Of Us”
“I really wondered if releasing the record right now was the right thing to do,” writes Jayda G in a press release about her forthcoming Both Of Us / Are U Down EP. Even though the Canadian up-and-comer has momentum on her side thanks to her acclaimed 2019 debut album, Significant Changes, such hesitancy makes sense when the surrounding world is making anything but.
We could all use a moment of happiness, and that’s exactly what lead single “Both Of Us” delivers. Inspired by classic house records and the feelings she gets from them, Jayda delivers jubilant, uplifting piano house as bright and warm as the sun itself, with soft vocals and a breakdown-build-release sequence that makes it near impossible to not cheesily smile. “Both Of Us” comes with a video that features, and celebrates, the small joys in life that can easily be taken for granted: blue skies and flowers; neighborhood strolls; head-back, eyes-closed laughter and dancing with one another. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Boys Noize, “Mvinline”
Throughout his career, Boys Noize has cast a wide net of styles and sounds, yet somehow signing his latest single to the iconic house label Defected Records still feels like a curveball. The single, “Mvinline” (inspired by Black Ivory’s 1979 single “Mainline”), is a funky, pumping disco-house record primed for club play — you can practically see the DJ/producer manipulating it on the decks, whether he’s cutting out the hi-hats or gradually re-introducing the bassline to a sticky dancefloor full of bumping bodies, waving hands and drinks sloshing out of their cups.
“I’ve been following Defected since day one, from when I was a teenager working at a record store,” Boys Noize writes in a press release. “I started off as a house DJ, playing everything from Deep-Acid and Disco, and to this day Defected always had a place in my record case. So releasing my new single with this legendary dance institution means a lot!” — K.R.
Diplo Feat. Zac Brown & Danielle Bradbery, “Hometown”
After what feels like several Oregon Trail excursions’ worth of waiting, Diplo‘s country album, Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil, is finally here. Does it break boundaries? Nah. Is it at all affiliated with actual dance music? Kind of. Is it fun? Often. Are there real live country singers on it? Several.
Indeed one of the LP’s bright spots is “Hometown,” on which Zac Brown and Danielle Bradbery serenade each other about bringing each other to their respective hometowns so they can show each other the houses they grew up in, and pump gas without paying for it first. While many songs on Diplo Presents… feel like Major Lazer cuts with some twang tossed over them (the buoyant “Dance With Me” featuring Young Thug and Thomas Rhett, for example), “Hometown” feels like the real deal: a sweet ballad with heart that people who actually listen to country music in that hometown where you grew up will nod along with when it comes on the radio. Are we here for it? Giddyup. — KATIE BAIN
Ry X‘s come-hither falsetto, matched with Frank Wiedemann’s darkly dreamy beats have always been a sort of mental salve, and in a moment where reality feels particularly cracked, the duo return with their Howling project to deliver “Healing.” The song lives up to its namesake, offering a six minute respite via vibey, hypnotic beats that rise (and rise) to a place where you might be able to momentarily forget the headlines, your problems and even yourself to just dance it all out, even if you have to shut the blinds and simply go for it alone in your living room.
“Healing” comes from Howling’s forthcoming LP, Colure, out on July 24 via Counter Records. Referring to the point in astronomy where two celestial poles are aligned, the album’s title is intended to reflect the duo’s binary working relationship. “It’s the idea,” Wiedemann says in a statement, “that we’re two different planets, in our own orbit, but which meet when we come together to make music.” — K. Bain