It’s a big new music Friday in the dance world, with a crew of heavyweight producers heating up 2021 with a batch of new productions.
Beyond the first single of the year from Rezz, this week sees releases from legends like Black Coffee and Nile Rodgers (who adds heft to a production with rising artist SG Lewis), along with scene stars like San Holo and upstarts like Franky Wah.
Intrigued? Good. Let’s dig in.
Black Coffee Feat. Cassie, “Time”
Back in 2018, South African house producer Black Coffee published an Instagram story from his studio of his then-latest work in progress. Revealing no details, he only tagged singer Cassie with a simple caption: “Vibes.” Nearly three years later, that song hits its glorious final form as “Time.” Cassie’s voice, sweet and hypnotic at an almost-whisper, is a natural fit for Black Coffee’s mellow production, creating a dancefloor ballad that’s as vulnerable as it is sultry and groovy — the perfect track for swaying in your honey’s arms at the end of the night. “Time” arrives as part of Black Coffee’s latest album Subconsciously, out today via Ultra Records, alongside high-profile collaborations with Diplo and Elderbrook, Sabrina Claudio, Usher and Pharrell Williams. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
SG Lewis Feat. Nile Rodgers, “One More”
SG Lewis is rapidly establishing himself as one of the moment’s hottest arbiters of feel-good, funk-leaning dance jams with real heft and actual soul. (His undeniable Lucky Daye collab, “Feed The Fire,” came it at No. 5 on our top songs of 2020.) Today, the English producer gets a major assist from one of the original architects of disco funk, Nile Rodgers. Their collaborative single “One More” shimmers with Rodgers’ guitar work and come ahead of Lewis’ debut album, times, out February 19.
“‘One More’ was the first song I wrote for this record in LA, and one that set me on the path to making this whole album,” Lewis says in a statement. “Working with Nile Rodgers was an experience which will stay with me for the rest of my life. To have someone who has influenced not only this album, but my entire career play on this song is mind blowing.” — KATIE BAIN
San Holo Feat. Bipolar Sunshine, “Find Your Way”
Electronic music’s sweetest bleeding heart is back in a really big way. Dutch producer and instrumentalist San Holo just announced the forthcoming release of his sophomore LP bb, u ok? It’s set to feature 20 tracks, one of which is the airy and emotive “Find Your Way,” the LP’S second single that dropped earlier this week. It brings San back with “Brighter Days” collaborator Bipolar Sunshine, radiating pure summer joy with low-hung guitar strums, uplifting lyrics and a half-time beat. The style picks right up where debut album 1 left off, exploring the intersection of melodic dance and post-rock in a way that feels rich and warm. It’s a nice hug after 2020, and we’re excited to see what comes next. — KAT BEIN
Franky Wah Feat. Aetho, “Should Have Seen It Coming”
British phenom Franky Wah makes his Anjunadeep debut with “Should Have Seen It Coming”, the lead single from a forthcoming EP of the same name. The song is worthy of Anjuna’s hallowed stamp of approval, with the unevenly plucked strings that ripple across the spacious production adding a sense of urgency that’s balanced with breathy, emotionally resonant vocals from Aetho. The EP, out February 12, continues a hot streak for Wah, who moonlights as a bodybuilder and has spent much of his quarantine at the gym he owns in his native UK. He also delivered a series of excellent tracks and a blistering Essential Mix in 2020, with 2021 looking to be even bigger than Wah’s biceps. — K. Bain
Kito, VanJess & Channel Tres, “Recap”
Like a scoop of Neopolitan ice cream, the trio combination of dance-pop producer Kito, R&B sister-duo VanJess and the fast-rising Channel Tres on new single “Recap” is deliciously decadent and refreshing. Similarly, both the dessert and the song may be worth consuming when times with your partner are tough and you’re fed up with the stubbornness and arguments with no clear end. With its whimsical, slice-of-sunshine production, “Recap” presents a solution as VanJess croon about the need to compromise and decompress by remembering the good times. Meanwhile, Channel’s suggestion, delivered in his breezy signature baritone, offers a tad more pizzazz: calling in a favor at Nobu for an extra-private table for two. — K.R.
Jimmy Edgar Feat. 24hrs, “Notice”
Detroit experimentalist and texture king Jimmy Edgar is the kind of producer that opens a doorway in your mind. His latest tune “Notice,” the seventh single from his forthcoming LP Cheetah Bend, blends sci-fi industrialism with slow-cruisin’, corner-hugging R&B. Recorded in Atlanta, the tune features catchy and cocky vocals from “What You Like” rapper-singer 24hrs. It might feel like a strange mix at first, but the more this song’s expressive weirdness unfolds, the more your body realizes this is exactly what it needs. “The value I bring is hybridization,” Edgar is quoted in a press release. “I think about different universes of sound coming together to create an entirely new domain of knowing.” Look out for Cheetah Bend in full on February 26. — K. Bein
Felix Cartal & Kiiara, “Happy Hour”
Friday vibes are exemplified on “Happy Hour,” a joyous new collab between Canadian producer Felix Cartal and anti-pop star Kiiara. “Every night, I’m searchin’ for something new/ How am I gonna get through?/ Every face reminds me of you,” she coos over bubbly instrumentation. The glittery offering, out via Physical Presents, also marks a reunion of sorts for the pair, who last teamed up for a remix of Kiiara’s “Feels” in 2016. — GAB GINSBERG