First Spin: The Week’s Best New Dance Tracks From Acraze, Bicep, Gryffin & Tinashe & More

This week in dance music: A-Trak, Jai Wolf and other dance stars encouraged you to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, Major Lazer and more topped the lineup for the 2023 edition of Day Zero Tulum, Rezz launched her own label, HypnoVizion, Dave Gahan spoke on the continuation of Depeche Mode after the death of Andy Fletcher, the new Elton John and Britney Spears collab continued its run at No. 1 on Dance Mix/Show Airplay, we spoke to TSHA about astrology and imposter syndrome upon the release of her new album, Marina and The Diamonds had a glow up on Dance/Electronic albums and we went behind the scenes of Burning Man’s Mayan Warrior art car.

And new music? Of course. Let’s dig in.

Acraze, “Believe”

After rising to headliner status on the back of his 2021 monster hit “Do It to It,” Acraze today (October 7) delivers the hotly anticipated follow-up, “Believe.” As with the former track, which sampled the 2006 Cherish classic of the same name — “Believe” parlays a killer early 2000s track into modern dancefloor fare, morphing the buoyant 2000 hit “Toca’s Miracle” by German trance trio Fragma into something deeper, darker and housie-er via a rework of the vocals and track done in collaboration with production duo Goodboys. It won’t be a miracle if this one continues the upward trajectory Acraze jumped on via “Do It To It,” which reached No. 3 on Billboard‘s Dance/Electronic Songs chart and has racked up an astonishing 12 billion global streams.

“On your journey to success, it’s inevitable that you will hear ‘no’ more than ‘yes,’” Acraze says. “Believing in myself when no one else did was what I did best. This song is a true representation of what it felt like in the low moments of my life. I hope you guys enjoy ‘Believe’ as much as we enjoyed making it.” The track is out via Thrive Music/Capitol Records. — KATIE BAIN

Bicep, “Water”

Northern Irish duo Bicep consistently creates some of the most powerful electronic atmospheres on the market, harnessing the melodic strength of its U.K. rave-era forebears with golden-hued tracks and mind-blowing live performances. Now, for its next trick, Bicep taps directly into your memory bank by playing the new MEGAfm synthesizer, which features chips used to create the sounds on the life-changing SEGA Genesis (known outside the U.S. as Mega Drive) game consoles that lovingly haunt the dreams of millennials the world over. 

The familiar notes ring clear on the spastic builds of “Water,” the A-side of the duo’s latest release. The track features air vocals from Bicep’s frequent collaborator Clara, and the B-side “Waterfalls” offers a rare look into the making of a Bicep track, because it is literally an early demo of the tune, albeit slower, vocal-less and incredibly different than the A-side we’ll all no doubt come to know and love in future Bicep performances.

“It’s a common thing in the studio to start on one demo and go in different directions but end up liking both and not knowing which to choose,” the duo says in a joint statement. “Sometimes the rawness in the original idea is nice to hear and can end up being appreciated in a totally different way.” – KAT BEIN

Gryffin & Tinashe, “Scandalous”

Two weeks ago, Gryffin, Kygo and Calum Scott “Woke Up in Love” — and at No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. After scoring his first top 10 with the single, Gryffin is back with another candidate for heavy rotation: “Scandalous,” a sultry dance-pop crossover with clear sex appeal. Tinashe ably assumes topline duties on it, her vocals smoldering as she quips, “You’re so scandalous, so scandalous.” In the context of the song — the latest preview from Gryffin’s awaited sophomore LP, Alive — it’s a compliment. 

“Scandalous” is refreshing in that it finds Gryffin sidestepping his anthemic custom for something a little more radio-friendly. Expect to hear it there and at the two largest headlining events of his career to date: Red Rocks Amphitheater (October 21) and LA State Historic Park (November 4). — RACHEL NAROZNIAK

Tibasko, “The Limit”

In the illustrious words of The Chemical Brothers, “music that triggers some kind of response” is the only kind of music my body has room for. Thankfully, international duo Tibasko, made of Philippino producer Ken and his British-based friend Andy, created a debut EP that runs the absolute rave gamut; boasting heart-pumping rave anthems, dark cinematic moods, bpm-jumping experiments and everything between. 

“When producing our debut seven track-EP, we really wanted to showcase all the different sides to Tibasko,” the duo says, “from the more emotive pieces through to the big, ravey club tracks designed to decimate dancefloors.”

The EP’s latest single “The Limit” is one of those high energy rave joints that grabs you by the collar and throws you around the room at 140 bpm. “As producers, you’re generally told to gravitate towards a cleaner technical approach to production,” Tibasko says. “We decided to go against this for ‘The Limit,’ as we really wanted that gritty, rough sound to come across, backed by the driving vocal which initially started as a grime acapella.”

The full self-titled EP is out now. Do yourself a favor and slap that s–t on everything. – K. Bein

Nicky Romero, “Techtronic”

Yes, tech house has been all the rage, but bigroom techno would like a word, and under Nicky Romero’s tutelage, it’s getting one. The nascent combination feels a lot like the next big thing in dance music (thanks in large part to Hardwell’s experimentation on REBELS NEVER DIE), and “Techtronic” gives it a propulsive push forth. After making the rounds in Romero’s sets during the summer festival season, “Techtronic” now ushers in what a statement declares his “new club sound.” It’s a throttling introduction, one that makes the notion of kicking off one’s heels to jump in sync with its drops rather enticing (though admittedly, your local club might not like that). 

There’s more where that came from: Romero will further explore this revved-up, refreshed sound on an EP due later this year. And judging from this early preview, it’ll increasingly popularize this budding bigroom techno trend. Stay tuned. — R.N.

St. Lucia, “Gimme the Night”

Synth-pop duo (and married couple) St. Lucia drop their fourth studio album, Utopia, today and mark the occasion with a euphoric video of for their also euphoric album single “Gimme the Night.” The clip stars Ireland Basinger Baldwin getting turnt in a convenience store surrounded by paparazzi, with the song delivering lyrics about the realities of life on the algorithm.

“Lyrically, ‘Gimme The Night’ is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the lifestyle of influencer culture, which we lived at different points,” says St. Lucia’s Jean-Philip Grobler. “Being in a band, you’re flying all over the place. Everyone thinks it’s a totally glamorous life on social media. It’s glamorous sometimes, but most of the time, it’s not the jet-set life you imagine.” In fact, sometimes you’re just getting wasted in the chip aisle — but dammit if this one doesn’t makes that look like paradise. — K. Bain

Katie Bain