Best New Dance Tracks – Billboard
Written by GRB on 04/08/2023
This week in dance music: Kylie Minogue reached No. 1 on Dance Mix Show/Airplay with her unstoppable “Padam Padam” and we explored how the time honored tradition of the slow dance is shifting for Gen Z.
And new music? We’ve got loads of it. Here are the best new dance tracks of the week.
Nia Archives, “Bad Gyalz”
The Label: HIJINXX/Island Release
The Spiel: The U.K. jungle producer’s last few months have included opening for Beyoncé on the London stop of her Renaissance tour, a Coachella debut and very buzzy shows at Glastonbury and Primavera. Archives keeps this big time momentum going with her latest, “Bad Gyalz,” a cool, catchy ode to the junglist ladies turning out for her shows, which continue through the summer and fall with dates throughout Europe and Asia.
The Artist Says: “I was on ma way to the studio with Clipz listening to Ranking Ann who is one of my fave MCs — period. And then I was just thinking about tha fact that like, whenever I go to one of my shows, it’s 85% women ages 18 -25 which is so amazing! And they are all baddies, absolute junglists. So I wanted to make a song that represents that and tha women that come to ma raves. And that’s how ‘Bad Gyalz’ was born!”
The Vibe: Blissfully sweaty on a packed dancefloor with all your fellow gyalz.
David Guetta & Bebe Rexha, “One In a Million”
The Label: Warner Records
The Spiel: As Guetta and Rexha continue their major Hot Dance/Electronic Songs hot streak with “Good (I’m Blue)” — which is currently sitting at No. 1 in its 48th week on the chart — the pair double down on their collaborative magic with “One In a Million.” As Guetta layers up characteristically peppy piano stabs Rexha declares, “I can’t believe we’re both alive at the same time” in her signature chromatic purr, altogether creating the euphoric, unabashedly saccharine dance vibes that both are so skilled at, and are especially good at together.
The Vibe: Screaming along in the car, certain you sound excellent.
Grabbitz & bbno$, “Ticking Away”
The Label: Riot Games
The Spiel: A leader in the headbanging space where electronic music meets rock, Grabbitz returns with another banger in that realm, “TICKING AWAY.” A collaboration with rapper bbno$, the propulsive, deliciously heavy song is the official anthem for the VALORANT Champions Tour, for which the Riot Games’ brand will host performances and activations around Los Angeles (including an event with Brownies & Lemonade on Aug. 23), leading up to the VALORANT Champions Finals on Aug. 26 where Grabbitz and bbno$ will perform the song live for the first time.
The Artist Says: “It’s been an honor to work with VALORANT for three years in a row now,” says Grabbitz. “To see the impact the songs have had on the community and the players has been astonishing.”
The Vibe: Riding the rail (of your favorite first-person tactical hero shooter game.)
Spencer Brown, Wilt Claybourne & Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Awu Wemadoda”
The Label: diviine
The Spiel: Spencer Brown comes hot out the gates with “Awu Wemadoda,” the lead single from his third studio album Equanimity, set for release this fall. A collaboration with the legendary South African choral outfit Ladysmith Black Mambazo and producer Wilt Claybourne, the song is a beauty — breezy, soothing, uplifting and the very essence of the title of the album from whence it comes.
The Artist Says: “Every day, I saw a rapid-fire stream of contradictions: sugar-coated highlight reels balanced by extremism and negativity from the news, designed to game our emotions for attention,” Brown says of life during the pandemic. “After enough nights driven by pain and uncertainty, I realized that all I can control is how I let external stimuli affect my being. At first, I tried to eliminate the things causing my day to worsen; then, I realized I had to be OK with them. I had to accept difficulties and let them pass through me. During this period, a friend introduced me to the concept of equanimity, describing it as “calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation.” This was the exact skill I had unknowingly been trying to find. But like a muscle, it takes time to engrain deep strength in the core. In reality, peace exists around us if we can stay unaffected by the noise. Written between 2019 and 2023, Equanimity describes how I learned to be OK when external stimuli are out of my control. All we can do is work on how we react to the world around us.”
The Vibe: Calmness, composure, cathartic dancing.
Swedish House Mafia, “Ray Of Solar”
The Label: Republic Records
The Spiel: The Swedes swing for the fences on their latest single “Ray Of Solar.” Built around a sort of spooky, crystalline vocal from singer Tove Burman, the production ramps up quickly and heavily with a sudden wave of piano stabs and a stuttering synth hitting peak time mode around the 1:30-minute mark. The song follows “See The Light,” with the pair of tracks expected to serve as the two lead singles for a new upcoming SHM studio album.
The Artists Say: “Once we recorded these vocals we really got transcended to space,” the trio say in a joint statement. “We listened to it on repeat all night and imagined floating in space. This is the summer record for us and even though we’ve heard it a million times and still feel the power of it, it’s a really special one, the unique vocal with our style of writing melodies makes it special! Doing this together with Tove was incredible as we really felt we gave it a true Nordic sonic landscape. We love every second of it and can’t wait for the world to hear it!”
The Vibe: Sonic strobe light.