This week in dance music: the Avicii estate announced that a tribute museum honoring the late artist will open in Stockholm next month; Laidback Luke talked to Billboard about burnout and ghost producing; YouTube pulled Alok’s collab with Luis Fonsi, “Un Ratito,” in the wake of allegations that the song was made using uncredited ghost producers; Dirtybird mainstay Worthy launched a new chapter as Mz Worthy after coming out as trans; the debut edition of Creamfields South expanded its lineup with acts including Idris Elba, Eric Prydz and more; FKA Twigs’ Caprisongs debuted at No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Albums; and The Chainsmokers released their first new track in two years.
Is there more? There is definitely more. Here are the best dance tracks out this week.
Zedd x Disclosure, “You’ve Got To Let Go If You Want To Be Free”
Talk about a surprising collaboration we didn’t know we needed: Zedd and Disclosure have given us a smooth disco-house jam as cool and sweet as a festival morning. “You’ve Got to Let Go If You Want To Be Free” sees the UK brothers’ jazzy tempos dominate, but we can feel Zedd in all the tension-building textures and gritty synth squiggles. This is what it sounds like when three masters are at work, and we’re tickled to hear the combo. We’re dancing into the weekend with this one; fingers crossed there are a few more Zedd and Disclosure collaborations waiting in the wings. – KAT BEIN
Confidence Man, “Feels Like A Different Thing”
If Confidence Man’s new single “Feels Like A Different Thing” could be summed up in one word, it’d be “maximalism.” “It’ll make your ears bleed (in a good way),” the Aussie group write. “It’ll steal your car and burn down your house and you’ll still say thanks.” “Feels Like A Different Thing” exudes big ‘90s dance energy, with anthemic piano builds and a chorus of shrieking, uncaged euphoria that delivers one adrenaline spike after another. The music video is equally balls to the wall with speeding cars, explosions and a familar-to-cinephiles setting of Coober Pedy, the South Australian town where 1985 film Mad Max was filmed. “Feels Like A Different Thing” is the second single from Confidence Man’s upcoming album Tilt, due out Apr. 1 on Heavenly Recordings. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Tommy Trash, “Jaguwawa”
Last October, Tommy Trash returned to music after a period of heady psychedelic transformation. His latest release — the second since his comeback — demonstrates that his time traversing the jungles of South America and the beaches of Thailand made a serious impression on his artistic output. The Australian producer’s “Jaguwawa” is a blissfully upbeat, world music-influenced dance jam that Trash says he wrote “after a night-long ayahuasca trip, where I was having dinner with a few alien pals, before they invited me to go up into their spaceship.” You simply can’t argue with that! The track and its extended mix are out via’s Sydney’s venerable Sweat It Out. — KATIE BAIN
DJ Minx, “Do It All Night”
DJ Minx and Planet E Communications, the Carl Craig-founded record label, both had reason to celebrate in 2021. DJ Minx publicly stepped into her truth and came out alongside a national Spotify Pride campaign, while Planet E marked 30 years in an increasingly volatile music landscape. Today (Jan. 28), they unite as DJ Minx releases her latest EP, Do It All Night. The title track is dark, cool and gritty, with breezy vocals and wispy synths that curl like cigarette smoke in a blackened warehouse. There are no real peaks or valleys here – just over seven steady, glorious minutes of jacking house music for locking in a groove. The release comes with a tough, driving Honey Dijon remix, as well as a more minimal interpretation from Craig himself. — K.R.
WHIPPED CREAM, UNIIQE3, Big Freedia & Moore Kismet, “Hold Up”
What do you get when you combine the bass-bounce of WHIPPED with the bossy Jersey attitude of UNIIQU3, the sound-engineering mastery of Moore Kismet, and the straight-up power of Nola legend Big Freedia? A pulse-pounding sweat machine of a dance song that’s all fierceness and no fluff. “Hold Up” is the kind of mega-collab music fans can usually only dream about. “‘Hold Up’ is a song created for the people who have never seemingly fit in and for those who have had to fight like hell to simply be who they are,” WHIPPED tells Billboard.
To bring that point home, Moore Kismet delivers a verse that fully announces the young star as a force to be reckoned with. UNIIQU3 comes through with a sing-along for all the black sheep on the dance floor, and Big Freedia finishes the show with a daring bit of finesse. All the while, the song beats your brain in with dark, clubby bass beats and whiplash synths.
“This song is for anyone who ever felt too different; for anyone who didn’t know they had magic inside or how to use it,” UNIIQU3 says. “I’m definitely the black sheep of my family. DJing was so left field but I stuck to it and embraced it. Now I embody everything fierce and fabulous.” Says Big Freedia: “When WHIPPED CREAM’s team hollered at me to get on this track, I was like, GIRL DOWN, OH YES! This one is for the clubs!”
Adds Kismet: “I decided to write lyrics to it as a way of kind of getting out all of my feelings about negative people trying to tone down my identity and trying to make it seem like I’m a natural human being when in the grand scheme of things, I’m a boss ass bitch and I’ve always known that I’m a boss ass bitch and that will never change.” – K. Bein
Pioneer 11, “Brain Dead”
For those that like their dance music to sound like the apex of a desert dawn acid trip, L.A. duo Pioneer 11 have delivered “Brain Dead.” A sexy, propulsive jam that sounds like the love child of Darkside and Caribou, the track is a mind meld of jammy guitars, driving house beats, strobe-y synths and what sounds like a confidently played cowbell. The track marks the band’s deepest voyage into electronic music to date, having, they say, been recently inspired by their work remixing “Belgrade Fever” by Dave Harrington Group. (To close the circle, Harrington is also the co-member of Darkside.) “Brain Dead” is out via L.A.’s POW Recordings. — K. Bain
The Librarian, “Howe Sound”