This week in dance music: We went behind the scenes at nightlife advocacy agency VibeLab and spoke with East Forest about his new album. Dua Lipa released her new dance-centric track, The Living Tombstones debuted on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Skrillex, Fred again.. and James Blake led the 2024 dance/electronic Grammy nominations and Aluna launched a label focused on Black female and LGBTQ+ artists, Noir Black.
We’ve also got more! These are the best new dance tracks of the week.
Peggy Gou, Lenny Kravitz, “I Believe In Love Again”
The Label: XL Recordings
The Spiel: Peggy Gou appears to be swinging for the fences with her debut album, set for release next year. The LP’s lead single “Nanana (It Goes Like)” became a viral hit (“My song was never on a chart before,” Gou recently told Billboard. “In the beginning I wasn’t sure what [charting] meant exactly”), and the album’s second single is a simmering collaboration with the bonafide legend Lenny Kravitz. Together, the pair are predictably cooler than cool, with Kravitz employee the higher-pitched side of his range for vocals that ride Gou’s ’90s throwback production.
The Artist Says: “The ’90s have had such a huge influence on my music” Gou says. “People know about my love of the dance/house/rave scene from that time, but I’ve always been a big R&B fan, and also a huge fan of Lenny. I listened endlessly to his 1998 album 5 – my personal favorite – but his whole discography is great, totally timeless. He came into the studio and transformed the guide vocal into magic, writing new lyrics and creating that incredible guitar riff. ‘I Believe In Love Again’ is a strong message of positivity and hope, and we hope everyone feels that when they hear the song.”
Yaeji, “easy breezy”
The Label: XL Recordings
The Spiel: There’s a neat trick to Yaeji’s latest track, with the lyrics focused on how certain things are not so easy breezy over a track that very much contains that laidback vibe. Skittering d’n’b percussion swells with synth, fun bossa nova touches and the occasional acoustic guitar, for a song that does indeed feel like a warm breeze. The release comes in tandem with the European leg of the artist’s With A Hammer tour, which includes a headlining slot at Pitchfork London festival this weekend.
The Artist Says: “Sonically, the song connects a thread between me now and me back in middle school —when I discovered bossa nova, drum and bass, and house through Korean and Japanese pop electronica,” Yaeji says. “‘easy breezy’ is a thread, a tribute, a recollection of memories, and an encouraging push for us to bring forth change with courage and laughter. We hold the power in our hands, and we should never doubt that. Change is now.”
Keys N Krates & Ciara, “Fantasy”
The Label: Last Gang Records
The Spiel: The Keys N Krates crew links with Ms. Automatic Supersonic, Hipnotic Funkyfresh herself, Ciara, for “Fantasy.” Out of the trio’s third studio album IN:TENSION, the song is a positively buoyant house cut built from feel-good piano stabs, strings, cooking percussion and vocals from Ciara that bounce between rapidfire spoken word and mellifluous singing.
The Artist Says: “After vibing with ‘Fantasy’ for the first time, I had good feels all over,” says Ciara. “I felt an infectious energy that made me want to dance, and I could envision myself living my best life to this song all over the world. This is the perfect party song for my collaboration with Keys N Krates. House is a space I’ve really been wanting to get involved in, so I’m excited for the world to hear it.”
Logic1000, “Self To Blame”
The Label: Therapy
The Spiel: Logic1000 has had a steady rise since her 2019 debut, releasing remixes for Fever Ray, Glass Animals, Christine and the Queens, Flume, Orbital in addition to her own productions. All this work had led to the tk artist’s just announced debut album, Mother, set for release in March. The album’s lead single is the sinewy, gently rising “Self To Blame,” marrying Y2K R&B and and house music featuring the velvet-voiced Kayla Blackmon.
The Artist Says: “I haven’t been posting anything personal since this unfathomable situation continued to unfold,” the artist wrote on Instagram regarding the Israel-Hamas war, “and I have been very confused about whether to make this post about my new music. I’m riddled with grief. Anxiety too. But I have also always believed that music has special healing powers. It is a way to escape, to decompress and it is in service to the community of people who connect to it. I hope that my new song – “Self To Blame” featuring the wonderful Kayla Blackmon brings you some much needed comfort and healing. I also want to use this time to announce that this is in fact the single from my debut album Mother. Big Ever and I have put our hearts and souls into creating this in the hopes of connecting you all through our music. I will continue to scream and shout about the injustice that is being inflicted upon the people of Palestine, all the while continuing to give you the music from the depths of our hearts. Please take care of yourselves.”
The Label: NLV Records
The Spiel: Australian producer Ninajirachi is back with a five-track EP, 4×4, that highlights her mastery of productions that balance effervescence, bounce, heft and style. The fast-paced “Wayside” is a highlight of a project that’s altogether futuristic yet accessible, bright yet weighty and playful throughout. 4×4 includes Ninajirachi’s own vocals, along with collaborations with Ravenna Golden and Kota Banks.
The Artist Says: “Making music hasn’t felt this fun and effortless for me since pre-pandemic,” says the producer. “All of these songs were made in the last few months with my good friends and they were made very quickly, mostly in under a day, they’re not that serious or deep, they felt fulfilling and easy to write and produce! On this release (and others to come) I’ve been pulling more and more inspiration from the dance music that changed my life as a child and getting closer to becoming the producer I dreamed of being when I first heard it.”
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