First Spin: The Week’s Best New Dance Tracks From Anabel Englund, Kx5 & More

This week in dance music: Alison Wonderland announced the launch of her new label FMU Records, Daft Punk’s Homework: Remixes debuted on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and Madonna’s “Gambler” made its streaming and digital sales debut — almost four decades after its release.

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

Anabel Englund, “Need Me Right”

Picture this: You’re in a dark club. The dance floor fills with smoke, and you’re dancing with your eyes closed to a heavy bass rhythm that feels like the heartbeat of all humanity. You open your eyes, the smoke starts to clear, and your crush comes walking out of the shadows. It’s late enough that you’ve got a pleasant buzz on, but not so late that you’re a total sweaty mess, and this beat has got you feeling like you could take over the world — so you go in for the kill, and by the end of the night, your crush is worshipping the ground you walk on. 

That’s the kind of vibe Anabel Englund’s latest single “Need Me Right” is serving. It’s powerful, mysterious, sensual and very addictive. She worked on it with Paul Harris of Dirty Vegas fame, the same group that gave us the classic hit “Days Go By.”

 “In a cozy, sky-lit studio in London last August, I worked in a session with one of my favorite co-writers, Paul Harris, and a new producer I had just met, James Hurr,” Englund says. “They had played me a few ideas they started, and one in particular really grabbed me. Within a few hours, we had written and recorded ‘Need Me Right,’ which felt intentional yet effortless. I am especially happy to release it in the later part of the year because the vibe just fits. This song is special and I love the story, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!” – KAT BEIN

Kx5 & Elderbook, “When I Talk”

It’s already a rush to be blessed with a full musical project from Kaskade and deadmua5. But now the duo has collaborated with Elderbrook, whose got one of the silky-smoothest, funky-coolest voices in today’s dance music scene. “When I Talk” is beautifully dynamic, starting slow and low with a burning spotlight on Elderbrook’s steamy vocal, only to explode in an energetic rhythm custom built for the club. It’s a real steady grower, raising your body temperature with each new musical chapter, but just when you’ve caught the whole vibe, it disappears back into the mist.

“The song is about barriers; shutting people out and dealing with that,” Elderbrook says. “The song means a lot to me, I’m so happy to have it coming out finally and to be part of the project.” 
“When I Talk” is the fifth single from the Kx5 project, and it comes just before the duo’s big celebratory showcase at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Saturday, Dec. 10. If you’ve got tickets, study up on this groove, because it’s sure to be a highlight of the night. – K. Bein

HoneyLuv feat. Dope Earth Alien, “Sway”

The Cleveland-born producer puts a cherry on her breakout year with “Sway,” a sleek, sexy house bop featuring rapidfire vocals from Toronto-based singer/songwriter Dope Earth Alien. Out via Insomniac Records, the track, HoneyLuv says, “is about letting the rhythm take control and letting it all out on the dancefloor as you sway with the beat.” It’s a straightforward task the song will surely accomplish during HonelyLuv’s upcoming sets at Holy Ship! Wrecked, Lights All Night, and Countdown NYE. – KATIE BAIN

La Goony Chonga, Danny Daze & Nick León, “Phonkay”

What does Miami sound like? According to the new 44-track compilation from Danny Daze, the 305 reeks of dark analog synths, psychedelic loops, haunting hooks, experimental noise and dirty beats — and that’s not wrong! Homecore! Miami All-Stars gathers fresh sounds from some of the most influential names on the Miami electronic scene over the last three decades. Otto Von Schirach, Craze, Murk and Lazaro Casanova are sandwiched between tunes from INVT, Sister System, Jonny From Space and Troy Kurtz. We’ve also got Sel.6, Jesse Perez, Richie Hell, Shinobi. We would love to list all the names, but you should just give the comp a listen — with the above b3b from La Goony Chonga, Nick León and Daze himself serving as a nice teaser. 

“This compilation focuses on the connective tissue that is Miami,” Daze says. “There’s a misconception of what Miami has to offer. It has a rich history of all sorts of music including electronic music. From house music legends to IDM and hip-hop pioneers, this release is intended to show what we’ve been about for the last 30-plus years. We’ve always maintained a love for our city and want to focus on how we’ve all influenced each other. The new generation is pushing things forward while holding the standard prior generations set. There are eyes on Miami at the moment, and this compilation may help paint a better picture as to where we come from and where we’re going.” – K. Bein

Claude VonStroke, “Don’t Make Sense”

VonStroke is a master of productions that bump and groove with just little bit of weirdness, but his latest is just a triumph of full-on house sensuality. “Don’t Make Sense” starts on a low simmer, with CVS progressively turning up the heat over six-plus minutes with layers of scintillating percussion, a hypnotic vocal announcing “don’t make sense” in a way that very much does, and then making a few gear shifts into more ethereal production before embracing shimmery peaktime IDM. Marking CVS’ second non-Dirtybird release of the year, “Don’t Make Sense” is out via Germany’s Moon Harbour, a move of which CVS says, “I don’t usually release music on other labels — but there are a handful of house labels that inspired me and shaped my sound. Moon Harbour is one of those, and I’m so happy to release this record with them.” — K. Bain

Katie Bain