First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Anabel Englund and Jamie Jones, Steve Aoki and Sting, G Jones & More
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 we've got the much-anticipated collab from former Hot Natured groupmates Jamie Jones and Anabel Englund, the unlikely pairing of Steve Aoki and Sting, some spatial bass from West Coast stalwart G Jones and more. Let's dig in.
Anabel Englund and Jamie Jones, “Messing with Magic”
Anabel Englund’s moment in the spotlight has been long overdue. The singer/songwriter’s distinctly dreamy voice has reverberated around the world through her numerous collaborations (“Reverse Skydiving,” “Electricity”) with dance heavyweights such as Jamie Jones, Lee Foss and MK, as well as their Pleasure State and Hot Natured side projects.
Today, she’s releasing “Messing with Magic,” the lead single from her long-awaited EP of the same name. Produced by Jones, it recalls the gloriously verboten nature of deep house circa 2012: deep and dark production with a forever-descending bassline, and lyrics sultry yet slightly sinister as Englund details a love that’s as indulgent as it is ill-advised. “I wanna go / fall into you,” she sings, “run into the dust / never catch us.” Call it Bonnie and Clyde for the club crowd; “Messing with Magic” simply has us under its spell. -- KRYSTAL RODGRIGUEZ
Steve Aoki, Sting and Shaed, "2 In a Million"
Yep, you read it right. Once again proving that there's no artist he won't collaborate with and no genre he won't put his paws on, Steve Aoki today links up with legendary studmuffin Sting and trio Shaed (best known for their hit "Trampoline" with Zayn) for "2 In a Million." Coming from Aoki's fortchoming LPNeon Future IV, the song is a fully bubbly pop jam about looking for -- and finding! -- love. “To me, the greatest element in music is surprise, so I’m always open to collaborate with other artists as you never quite know where it’s going to take you," Sting says in a statement about the song. "This sounded like an interesting opportunity, and I’m excited for people to hear the new track.” May everyone be so openminded when looking for love, adventure and the perfect beat. -- KATIE BAIN
Davi, “Lie Machine"
Before Pete Tong played Daví’s new track, “Lie Machine,” on BBC Radio 1, he called it a “shamanic beast.” It’s high (and extremely vivid) praise from one of dance music’s most esteemed tastemakers, and well deserved. At seven and a half minutes long, “Lie Machine” -- out today via Crosstown Rebels -- is a melodic house marathon, but it pulls you in with its opening vocal: “I don’t want to be with you if you keep on deceiving.”
It rings with the palpable pain of heartbreak and betrayal, compounded by tension-building percussion, shakers and somber piano chords. It’s Daví’s first time working with vocals on this scale, and hopefully not the last -- this is the kind of secret weapon we can picture Crosstown boss Damian Lazarus whipping out to enthusiastic results in the depths of the Mexican jungle at his Day Zero event next month. -- K.R.
Boris Brejcha, "Lieblingmensch"
Boris Brejcha is your favorite DJ's favorite DJ, and the German producer's newest track demonstrates why you too should get on board. Translating to "favorite human being," "Lieblingmensch" is a self-categorized "high-tech minimal" energy jolt made for peak time at the club or just a fast drive away from your office at the end of the workweek. The song is from Brejcha's forthcoming LP Space Driver, dropping this January via Ultra Music. -- K. Bain
G Jones - “Dream Fatigue”
Listening to G Jones' is a multi-sensory experience. His tunes create patterns you can see and rumbling textures you can feel. His 2018 debut LP, The Ineffable Truth, was a stand-out, expertly blending IDM noise with headbanger bass and ethereal moods. This week, he expanded that black-and-white sonic universe with a five-song EP called Tangential Zones, a handful of sister songs written immediately after the LP and featured in the live tour performances. Eprom said it best when he tweeted “all these tunes slap into the next dimension.” Here we highlight “Dream Fatigue” which bops a quirky, game-over synth over hip-hop drums and absolute madness, but definitely give the full release a go. -- KAT BEIN
Belau, "Natural Pool"
Is there enough Hungarian electronic music in your life? No? Follow us across the Atlantic as we happily present Belau, a duo out of Easten Europe that's been making waves in the scene, having performed in over 200 countries at festivals including Primavera, Eurosonic, Reeperbahn, Electric Castle, Sziget and SXSW. In 2017, Belau also picked up the Hungarian equivalent of the Best Electronic Album Grammy for their debut LP, The Odyssey. Their new single "Natural Pool" demonstrates why you too should jump in. The song is a chillwave slow-ride built from stoney beats, gently escalating synth that wash over your earholes like water and self-recorded atmospheric samples culled in the Caribbean.
"'Natural Pool' is the symbol of a place or goal, which you would like to really achieve, but there’re just few people, who can reach it," Belau tells Billboard Dance. "If you can make it, you’ll experience new dimensions of freedom and bliss, which could be life changing.” The duo's sophomore LP is out in March of 2020. -- K. Bain
Martin Solveig Feat. Roy Woods, “Juliet & Romeo”
Shakespeare's teenage lovers may have been doomed, but the French producer and smooth Canadian singer's disco house beat is nothing but funky and upbeat. It's built around a plucky piano sample from Kölsch's “Der Alte,” who remixed Solveig's “My Love” in 2018. For this take, Solveig bumps the pulsing keys with a driving club rhythm and funkalicious vocal chop hook. Woods brings infectious with a playful chorus and layered harmonies. This is one for the dance floor, for sure. -- K. Bein
Attlas, “Sinner Complicated”
Strap yourself in and go for a ride on this six-minute progressive techno journey. “Sinner Complicated” unfolds in hypnotizing synth layers, twisting and bleating over a steady club beat. The song is paired with a colorful, psychedelic visualizer from Thomas Moore, serving as the first single from a forthcoming debut album titled Lavender God.
“[The album is me] trying to learn who I am and tell my story through music,” the producer is quoted in a press release, “which has given me so much and has been a home for me: a place to create, a shelter from the storm, and a launch pad into the greatest adventure of my life.” -- K. Bein