16 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Amara La Negra to Wisin & Pedro Capó

Lead Photo: Courtesy of TAG Collective.
Courtesy of TAG Collective.
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This is our weekly compilation of bite-sized reviews of newly released songs by our talented music writers. Discover new favorites, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases, and much more. Who knows, you might walk out of this with a new fave or two. Some of the featured artists include Amara La Negra, Wisin with Pedro Capó, and Susana Baca. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Amara La Negra - “SAFARI (feat. Safaree)”

This fiery song and music video collaboration between Amara La Negra and rapper Safaree dropped on Valentine’s Day. “SAFARI” is an up-tempo track that takes notes from dancehall to create a short and steamy Caribbean treat. The Dominican-American singer and reality TV star compares herself to dominant animals seen in the wild, like a serpent and a black panther. Fans are already requesting an extended version of the two-minute track. — Chelsea Quezada

Wisin, Pedro Capó - “Himalaya”

Reggaeton duos have almost always been a balance of sweet ‘n’ sour voices and attitudes, and Wisin was certainly the latter during his years alongside Yandel. But in this week’s “Himalaya,” he swerves into sweetness, joining forces with fellow countryman Pedro Capó for a Valentine’s Day popetón ode to love and kindness. Wisin can’t resist dropping one of his signature fast-paced verses, but Capó’s harmonizing and catchy bridges help relax the song and hold up its charming message. Wisin wanted to play against his usual rough-hewn type and drop a song that could connect with listeners who love love as much as he does, and the cameos from his and Capó’s real-life family reinforce that. — Juan J. Arroyo

Susana Baca - “La Flor de la Canela”

Visionary and Afro-Peruvian music preserver Susana Baca eulogizes beloved Peruvian singer and late friend Chabuca Granda on her newly-released album Cántenme. The legendary artist shared the source of inspiration for the album title and carrying on Granda’s legacy in a touching Instagram post earlier this week (“lo presento con una frase que ella me dijo antes de ella partir: Susanita y Ricardo, no me olviden y cántenme”). Lead single “La Flor de la Canela” radiates with Baca’s signature hearty vocals and the warm, nostalgic storytelling on classics like her 1997 self-titled debut. – Nayeli Portillo

Ivan Llanes - “Cubahia”

Cuban American artist Ivan Llanes is ready to tackle new sonic territory with the help of musicians like Brazil’s percussionist Gilmar Gomes. While this sort of fusion would blend into something generic in lesser hands, Llanes and cohorts transform Cuban and Brazilian genres into something daring while keeping the familiar tones intact. The way the influences blend melodically and rhythmically is a masterclass of musicians who know their styles inside out, demonstrating the artistic desire to break into something new, meeting in a middle ground with excitement to burst. No matter if you’re a traditionalist or into new amalgamations, “Cubahía” will get you dancing either way. — Marcos Hassan

Jaylee feat. xXkilljoyXx, Jayex (Prod. DripTrip) - "YO TMB TE KIERO" 

AQUIHAYAQUIHAY’s Jaylee is back with “YO TMB TE KIERO,” featuring xXkilljoyXx and Jayex. Produced by DripTrip, the fresh track features a sensual, booming bass beat with a notable car alarm chirp that gives the song character. The three rappers serve a different flow, highlighting Jaylee’s auto-tune croons, Jayex’s enticing mumbles, and xXkilljoyXx’s edgy verse. Together, they deliver a risqué, sneaky link offering about having a good time with no strings attached – and we’re not mad at it. – Jeanette Hernandez

Gato e’ Monte, Felipe Orjuela & La Estudiantina Electrónica - “El poema de su greñero”

The realm of soccer chants might be shrouded in mystery if you’ve never been swept up in the fever pitch of a roaring stadium. But rumor has it Colombian bard Gato e’ Monte and cumbia wizard Felipe Orjuela have been cooking up an album of fifas anthems, and the first taste arrived this week with “El poema de su greñero.” Plucks from Gato’s signature chiflamero swirl into Orjuela’s propulsive guacharca as they weave a rousing folk tale mythologizing Bogotá soccer legend Alberto “Tito” Gamero. It’s a tale of the people that promises to ring in stadiums and back alley matches for generations, squeezing in a quick salute to recently passed cumbia and vallenato icon Lisandro Meza. – Richard Villegas

Salvar Doñana - “Amanecer”

Former Califato 3/4 members Curro Morales and Rosana Pappalardo are homesick on “Amanecer,” their debut single as Salvar Doñana. These two Spanish artists joined forces to create a dazzling blend of synth-punk, twee pop, and flamenco, and it turned out to be the perfect vehicle to share a story of being away from home and finding yourself at the crossroads of staying or going back. After listing some of the things they miss the most, it’s settled: they’re going back. – Cheky

Danny Polo - “introtrack.wav” 

R&B and electronic worlds collide on Danny Polo’s recent single “introtrack.wav.” On his latest, the Jersey-born, Nashville-based artist first guides us into his world through a mellowed blend of his alluring vocals layered on top of an intriguing array of electronic keys-led instrumental beats. Just as you begin to settle into a sultry mood as he processes the ending of a relationship, the song kicks up the tempo and leans into a seamlessly fused soulful electro-pop bounce. It perfectly captures the beauty of the things that still remain before playing us down and releasing us back into the world and out of our thoughts through a melodic piano outro. – Jeanette Diaz

Hermanos Gutiérrez - "Sonido Cósmico"

The newest instrumental from the Ecuadorian sibling duo is the title track from their upcoming album Sonido Cósmico. While everything Hermanos Gutiérrez does is effortlessly timeless, this is a standout. Anchored by their guitars, “Sonido Cósmico” is enhanced by adding drums, an organ, and even more strings. The music video showcases their newfound inspiration of outer space and its vastness. Due June 14, Sonido Cósmico’s playful theme will introduce more cumbia and salsa stylings to their established sound. — Chelsea Quezada

Darell, Ozuna, Maluma - “Lollipop (Remix)”

Darell’s summer of ’23 album, EVERYBODY GO TO THE DISCOTEK, was a highkey banger chock-full of rousing dancefloor anthems. The LP’s biggest breakout hit, “Lollipop,” now gets its own remix alongside two of the genre’s biggest names. Darell teams up with Ozuna and Maluma for a take on the song that maintains its hot ‘n’ heavy bachata vibes while adding Ozuna’s picaresque touch and Maluma’s suave horny-gentleman energy. It works out as they complement Darell’s intense wordplay, breathing a second wind into the track’s popularity.  — Juan J. Arroyo

Tonga Conga - "Echa pa' alla"


Mexico City-based producer, DJ, and musician Raúl Sotomayor taps into his alter ego Tonga Conga for some spiritual introspection on his latest single “Echa pa’ alla.” Despite its somber sonic undercurrent, the artist’s latest feat is packed with crisp, EDM-inspired production and hints at an exciting new musical direction. “Echa pa’ alla” leads with a hypnotic syncopated beat raised up by hefty percussion to ward off excessive bad energy as the producer spellbinds with shivery synths and hymn-like vocal loops. – Nayeli Portillo

iiis & Yöels - “Cambiar las cosas"

In the ‘00s, bands such as Plastics Revolution, I Can Chase Dragons, Chikita Violenta, Rey Pila, and many others made waves in the independent circuit. As millennial nostalgia slowly takes over, it’s natural that members of the aforementioned bands are coming together to make music that taps into the energy of the Pasagüero generation while bringing new elements to the mix. “Cambiar las cosas” keeps an uptempo pace and enough melodic flare to keep those seeking nostalgia hooked, but there’s plenty of new flavor to the mix to make iiis an intriguing project for the current musical landscape. — Marcos Hassan

Lirico En La Casa - “Tekete”

Dembow artists get it. Following past releases “Caribeña” and “No Te Compares,” the influential Dominican artist Lirico En La Casa released his newest song, “Tekete.” The new track delivers an infectious, rhythmic beat with the repeating “Tekete” phrase that helps distinguish the earworm genre from others. Overall, Lirico’s provocative words and the club-ready perreo track make for the perfect booty-shaking song for a sweaty night out on a Caribbean island and beyond. – Jeanette Hernandez

ARN4L2 - “Papasukus”

Think of ARN4L2 as a musical sponge. For years, the Cartagena-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer was the director of a radio station in San Estanislao de Kotska, Bolívar, where he soaked up classic records steeped in house, Caribbean soca, Colombian tambora, and Congolese soukous. That prismatic Afro-diasporic sonic palette is the foundation for his new EP, Caribe, where cuts like “Papasukus” capture the trance-like nature of percussive music, spiced up with effervescent champeta guitars and sampled vintage calls. – Richard Villegas

Mediopicky - “Canción Genérica de San Valentín”

D.R.’s Mediopicky isn’t scared of a little genre switching, and on his new anti-Valentine’s Day anthem “Canción Genérica de San Valentín,” he takes on ‘80s-inspired electropop to tear down the walls of consumerism and demand real love. Injecting a whole lot of his signature satiric voice into this sweet, upbeat track, he has us dancing while making us think of the true meaning behind the capitalist holiday, only to fall face-first into the idea of Disney romance as a symbol of true love. There’s nothing generic about this song. Or is there? – Cheky

Levitation Room - “Heaven” 

Levitation Room gifted us with a timely Valentine’s Day gift with their latest single, “Heaven.” Known for their celestially groovy tunes, the band delivers an affectionate neo-psychedelia soft rock ballad that plays like a melting creamsicle on a sunny LA day alongside your lover. Guitar riffs and electro synths drive this dream pop ballad, while its lyrics are as love-fueled as you can get with simple declarations of feeling “just like heaven” whenever you find yourself around the one you love. – Jeanette Diaz