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 the absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of jams.
It was a tough week, we’re not going to lie. The world lost a huge light with the passing of Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider, a man for whom it would not be a stretch to credit with the invention of electronic dance, hip-hop and all manner of synthesized noise in between. If you don’t know about Kraftwerk’s innovative reach, just check this list of songs you didn’t know sampled the legendary act and brush up on your history.
We did get some cool tunes, too. Major Lazer remixed Megan Thee Stallion, Polo & Pan showed us some of their favorite French Touch tracks, and we got down and dirty with Charlotte de Witte in 20 Questions. There’s also a tone of new music you should check out below, including some groovy bangerz from Griz, cool d’n’b from DJ Craze and Tchami, and more.
Griz, “The Baddest”
Griz isn’t letting quarantine stop him from going like, insanely hard. “The Baddest” is a summer festival headbanger at its biggest and well, baddest, and makes us nostalgic for those sweaty nights in the pit making a mean stank face while thrashing alongside 10,000 of our closest friends.
The short but mighty track comes from Griz’s just out Bangers.Zip EP, the first installment of his Bangerz series in six months. During that time, he’s dabbled in other genres, releasing the house record “Could U” on AC Slater’s Night Bass and also become a livestream hero, playing sets for Room Service Festival, Beatport ReConnect, and more. “Always turning to music to lift my spirits,” Griz tweeted recently, a sentiment which we enthusiastically agree with. Be careful with this one though, it might also lift the roof off your damn house. — KATIE BAIN
Tchami, “Proud” Feat. Daecolm (DJ Craze Remix)
Drum’n’bass is back, baby, or if you’re like DJ Craze, it never left. The Miami-based DJ and producer has been rockin’ the breakbeats since the early 2000s, and he adds a little liquid love to French house master Tchami’s soulful banger. Craze’s “Proud” remix leans into the song’s dark melodies and Daecolm’s haunting, sensual vocals. The beat brings a bangin’ energy for the heads. It’s a remix so sweet, your girl will wanna dance with you to it, but cool and edgy enough that your man won’t feel cheesy for liking. Close your eyes and let the rhythm take you over. — KAT BEIN
Matoma Feat. Bryn Christopher, “Don’t Stop the Rhythm”
Norwegian fav Matoma gets positively saucy with the gospel house anthem “Don’t Stop the Rhythm,” from his Rytme EP, out today via Big Beat Records. While the Matoma catalog has long erred towards an ambience of sunshine, this track embraces the strobe-lit dark of a packed dancefloor, and we’re happy to announce that we’re here for it.
“My tastes and inspirations always evolve but in the past year I’ve really enjoyed writing more uptempo music, so I had the idea for this next EP to be all about club-paced music for the dancefloor,” the producer says in a statement. “I pulled together a few ideas I’ve been working on and tested many of them out on my last tour, so it was incredible to watch live reactions to songs no one has heard before!” — K. Bain
Tensnake feat. Boy Matthews, “Somebody Else”
Tensnake’s new single, “Somebody Else,” is an anthem for star-crossed lovers. Picture it in a film, barreling through the heart like a train at the climax during which the main character and their love interest, now living separate lives with other people, both reflect via montage on their relationship and what could have been. Vocalist Boy Matthews takes it home with his soaring, wistful vocals, while Tensnake’s neon-bright synths give the bittersweet ballad a rosy aura.
“Somebody Else” is the second single (following “Automatic”) from Tensnake’s forthcoming album, L.A, out via True Romance and Armada Music Elements. In a press release, the artist shared that the track is his favorite song on the album. “I’d say it is also the song which reminds me the most of my time in Los Angeles,” he adds. “This city has such a nostalgic feel and I tried to capture that vibe in this song.” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Joe Goddard & Hayden Thorpe, “Unknown Song”
We’re two months into Covid-19 craziness, and it’s not even crazy anymore. It’s become strangely normal to walk through the grocery store with a mask, you don’t even high five people in your dreams, and if you live in New York City, you’ve probably forgotten what wind feels like. Now more than ever, you need an uplifting indie dance disco jam with a touch of melancholy and enough the shimmering synths to cast rainbows from quiet tears. Enter “Unspoken Song,” a quarantine-inspired single from Hot Chip co-founder Joe Goddard with Wild Beast singer Hayden Thorpe.
“The lockdown has really made it apparent how music allows us to feel a synchronicity with our fellow beings,” Thorpe is quoted in a press release. “In the absence of touch, music is that sensual meeting point.” This song is specifically designed to be the melodic embrace that’ll get you through another weekend indoors. It’ll also be there for you when this dark chapter end, as Goddard adds, “We are in the midst of a crisis but gaining that new appreciation of dancing together is a small positive that I hope to hold onto after all of this.” — K. Bein
Ian Isiah, “N.U.T.S”
Earlier this week, Chromeo announced the launch of their new label, Juliet Records. Its first release, scheduled to arrive this summer, comes courtesy of R&B artist Ian Isiah, whose forthcoming project Auntie was produced entirely by the funk duo. Auntie’s first single, “N.U.T.S,” is a soulful throwback: It’s impeccably smooth, funky and fly as hell, but ultimately it’s unapologetic in its self-love, rising above the street recording of shouted homophobic slurs with which it opens. “You gotta make some room for people that wanna love you,” Isiah croons in a silky falsetto. The way the second half of the chorus repeats seems almost like an affirmation — that if you hear it and say it enough, you’ll believe it yourself. — K.R.
NOTD & Astrid S, “I Don’t Know Why”
Norwegian pop genius Astrid S is recruited by the Swedish duo for a joyful jam about the sort of love that makes the room shake and the floor spin. “I was so happy when they sent me this song, which I think is perfect for the summer!” Astrid said of the collab. Meanwhile, NOTD teased that this will be the first of many other delicious releases lined up for 2020. Pure Friday fun. — GAB GINSBERG