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.
Well wow, what a day. The dance world saw the release of some major projects today, with the new Disclosure album, The Blessed Madonna’s Club Future Nostalgia, Calvin Harris’ collab with The Weeknd, a new Bob Moses LP and a new single from Illenium.
While all of that on its own could keep you dancing through the weekend, there is, in fact, more. Let’s dig in.
Maceo Plex, “Nu World”
Maceo Plex just picked up the Essential New Tune nod from Pete Tong via his latest single, “Nu World.” As witnessed in the single art, his vision of the future isn’t great, but the song is, with kick drum and synth propelling us forth into a spacious, emotive, multi-movement opus and hopefully also propelling us forth into a more equitable future. All proceeds from the track are going to the American Civil Liberties Union’s effort to fight voter suppression.
Lee Foss, John Summit & Hayley May, “Summertime Chi”
If you’ve never had the distinct pleasure of exploring The Windy City during the warmer months of the year, we recommend it, as do Lee Foss, Chicago-based producer John Summit and UK vocalist Hayley May. Their collaborative ode to the hometown of house music is dually breezy and deep, with May’s effervescent melodies given weight by a driving beat and bass-laden transition that’s as good as cruising down Lakeshore Drive in a drop top. The track is out Foss’ own “Repopulate Mars” label.
Porter Robinson, “Mirror”
The third single from Robinson’s forthcoming LP Nurture balances delicacy and weight, with ethereal and slightly robotic vocals floating over complex percussion weighted by a steady beat buried deep in the mix. The build is sweeping, emotional and all encompassing, like a warm blanket or the warmth of the sun on your skin. “It will all be okay in the end,” announces a very convincing voice at the end of the track, and with the way this one soars, we kind of believe it.
Oliver Heldens Feat. Kiko Bun, “Break This Habit”
Oliver Heldens has been steadily releasing truly catchy and wonderfully accessible house music since he blew up with “Gecko” in 2014. Today, he continues that winning streak with “Break This Habit,’ an homage to trying to be a better man set over 4/4, some steel drum and a steamy chorus. The graphics in the visualizer are an ode to those from Breaking Bad, and in keeping with the title, all profits from the track go to organizations that help people struggling with addiction, as well as to charities aiding in COVID-19 relief.
The masked producer Kloud returns with “Disconnect,” a sleek, pummeling thrill ride that sounds like what would happen if The Weeknd, Daft Punk and Kavinsky were had some sort of hybrid music baby. (That’s a compliment, obviously.) “The song is about disconnecting or freeing yourself from anything that is toxic in your life, be it a relationship, friendship, or vice,” the producer is quoted in a statement. “I think a lot of people underestimate the power of letting go, and I think the song reinforces that.” We do too.