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 into the digital crates to present absolute must-hears from the wide breadth of fresh jams.
This week saw the release Maya Jane Coles' second album as her alter-ego Nocturnal Sunshine, the return of La Roux and, of course, the eighth installment of RL Grimes' annual Halloween mix. Beyond that, we've got the return of Four Tet's unpronouncable wingding alias, a heavily brooding banger from Rezz and Malaa, new material from Jubilee and much more. Let's dig in.
Yes, you're reading that name and title correctly. Four Tet is back under his undecipherable wingding alias with another surprise release. The EP, whose title and two tracks are also eyefuls of symbols and emojis, boasts Kieran Hebden’s signature sound, playing with light and dark through deep, pensive percussion and twinkling melodies, and manipulates a vocal sample — we’re guessing Celine Dion — like it’s Play-Doh. The cover artwork is unconventional in its pairing of fish and fireworks, but somehow oddly fitting in that it captures the music’s simultaneous aqueous and airy nature. It’s the first we’ve seen of Hebden’s wingdings alias since March, and it follows his also-excellent Anna Painting EP and live album from this summer. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Wave Racer feat. LunchMoney Lewis, “This'n'That”
Australian rainbow weaver Wave Racer is on a mission to take dance-pop to new heights, and his latest cotton-candy confection is a treat for headphone'd ears. “This'n'That” is sound-designer drugs, a playground of layers and textures like running an electric guitar against the face of a rubber balloon. It's bright and bouncy with sweetheart verses from Miami-born singer/rapper LunchMoney Lewis. The accompanying visualizer tugs on our digital heart strings. Don't leave this one on read. — KAT BEIN
Martin Garrix (with Dean Lewis), "Used to Love"
What do Martin Garrix and Bruce Springsteen have in common? Yes, one is a legend and one is still babyfaced, and one makes classic rock staples while the other makes EDM bangers. The answers, however, is that they both make anthems. On his newest single, "Used to Love," Garrix and Australian vocalist Dean Lewis pay homage to The Boss with the track's "we had Springsteen playing on the radio" lyrics and a track that swells and compels in the same style as many of Springsteen's biggest and most grandiose hits. Lewis' soaring vocals add to the effect, with all these elements making yet another bonafide smash from the EDM hitmaker. — KATIE BAIN
The Dirtybird kid becomes a man today with the release of his debut album, Mr. Good. The San Francisco-based producer put 11 mean beats together for the full LP, and it doesn't take long to get to the good stuff. “Osci” is the third track on the album, right behind lead single “I Can't Wait,” and it's got the kind of growling synths to turn a nice girl bad. This is baby-making bass for nasty people. Go ahead and get it right on the dance floor, then listen to the album in full. — K. Bein
Rezz and Malaa, "Criminals"
Sometimes you see those babies who look dramatically more like one parent, and sometimes you see kids who look like the perfectly balanced representation of the two people who made them. This is all to say that "Criminals" — the just-released sonic scion of Rezz and Malaa — have both producers' fingerprints all over it, in equal doses that together make something both new and distinctly them. The track is as hard as you would expect from these two perpetually heavy artists, with Rezz's industrial bass laying the foundation for darkly alluring flourishes from Malaa. The duo premiered "Criminals" last weekend at Houston's Freaky Deeky festival, and the track drops in conjunction with the launch of Malaa’s North American Illegal 2019 tour, which starts tonight in New York. Meanwhile, Rezz's Beyond The Senses tour continues through December. — K. Bain
Real rave is never dead as long as Jubilee is alive. The Miami-bred, NYC-based producer and DJ remembers the good old days when synths were tinny and parties were held in illegal mystery spots. If you were cool, you got a flyer with a phone number, and when you called, an answering machine gave you directions to the jam. Her sophomore LP Call for Location is an 11-track homage to the glory days, and this penultimate tune is a real warehouse banger. Grab the nearest water bottle, hop in some JNCOs and don't come home until the sun rises. — K. Bein
Noizu, "For Your Soul"
One of the coolest dichotomies of electronic music is how something made by a machine can make us humans feel so much. Producer Noizu emphasizes this point to great effect with his driving, ravey single "For Your Soul." The song is a dark amalgamation of bass and peak time synths that together create a sense of sonic/spiritual elevation. The L.A.-based producer drops the track after a series of co-signs from artists including DJ Snake, Chris Lake and Tchami. — K. Bain
All these electronic music producers want to transcribe their music for orchestras, but this Swedish musician is actually and factually a classically-trained bassist in the Royal Swedish Opera and Andrea Bocelli's orchestra. With “Look,” he puts his elegant touch on ambient house. It's a laidback groove smooth as warm water on massaged skin, and it's the lead single from Boerd's forthcoming debut album to be released on Anjunadeep. Wade in these chill waves until you get pruny. — K. Bein