16 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Lido Pimienta to Alejo

Lead Photo: Photo by David D Barajas.
Photo by David D Barajas.
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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 Lido Pimienta, Alejo, and Girl Ultra. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Lido Pimienta - "He Venido al Mar"

Canadian-Colombian singer Lido Pimienta takes a reflective trip to the vast ocean on “He Venido al Mar.” The five-and-a-half-minute-long track was written for the original soundtrack for Miguel Faus’ film Calladita, which centers around a wealthy Spanish family’s mistreated yet ambitious maid. “I resonate with this character and her attitude to enjoy life no matter what, and in every step of the way, with open eyes and a badass attitude,” said Pimienta, who added affirmative lyrics that convey the character’s confidence. It opens with one beat and gradually adds textural layers, transitioning into a tropical cumbia-lite sound. — Chelsea Quezada

Alejo - “Casa De Campo”

Judging by Alejo’s new single — the focus track of his just-released new album — Puerto Rico’s new generation is thriving. The artist follows a particular musical direction that feels familiar and innovating in equal parts, his flow being indebted to the catchy sing-song style of this era’s big reggaeton names while the music spews distorted synth lines and oversaturated drums. Lyrically, Alejo goes on a sex-obsessed bender, delivering dirty lyrics while maintaining an energetic yet collected persona throughout each verse. By the time the beat switch occurs, you’ll be fully enthralled by the young emcee. — Marcos Hassan

Girl Ultra - “blu”

Fresh off her first Coachella performance, Mexico’s Girl Ultra just announced a new seven-track EP coming up on Big Dada / Ninja Tune. On blush, she plays with the sounds of the early 2000s, as we can hear on her new single, “blu.” Backed by thunderous drums and overdriven electric guitars, Girl Ultra gives us a throwback moment with turn-of-the-millennium flavor, a style that effortlessly fits her soft croon and emotionally charged melodies. It’s a self-reflecting moment on the complexities of youth and how she can go on with life while still carrying sadness in her heart. — Cheky

Solo Fernández, Alex Ferreira - “Telescopio”

Soaring Dominican rockers Solo Fernández have been teasing their forthcoming sophomore album Las Cosas Que Nunca Dije with bouncy and devilishly catchy collaborations with Clubz and Midnight Generation. On their latest single, “Telescopio,” the indie polymaths enlisted elite crooner Alex Ferreira for one of their most romantic offerings to date, ruminating about late nights spent pondering the universe with a paramour. The song melds Ferreira’s signature acoustic strums with lightning-fast drum patterns out of the math rock playbook, unfolding like an intimate, bonfire-side Radiohead performance. – Richard Villegas

Nathy Peluso - “Aprender A Amar”

It’s been four years since the breakout debut of Nathy Peluso’s album Calambre, a project that demonstrated her prowess in fusing multiple genres into a chimera of sounds and a vocal knack for singing and rapping. Since then, Peluso’s training arc included breaking the internet with a vivid COLORS performance, earning a few Latin Grammys, and writing music with some of Argentina’s biggest names in the music space, as demonstrated with her session with Bizarrap. After honing in on her craft, the rapera returns with an electrifying performance of “Aprender A Amar,” the first cut of her sophomore LP, Grasa, set to release later this month. “Aprender A Amar” is a complete return to form for Peluso, and sees the songstress lay vivid wordplay over a beat from The Movement. It synthesizes tangible elements from Peluso’s different influences for a performance brimming with character. Peluso is ferocious on the mic, a fencer of phonics trading bar for bar over a beat that takes a backseat while the raps take center stage. – Alan Baez


Following the vein of their last single, “Bad Manners,” the Latine four-piece ANGEL22 is back with “BESIÑOS.” The new track blends Brazilian funk, sprinkled-in trap, and pop, backed by a melodic drum beat. By using multiple languages – Portuguese, English, and Spanish – and diverse sounds, ANGEL22 embodies Latine’s melting pot of rich medley in a flirty, danceable song. This is said to be all part of the group’s new coquettish and mature era, and we’re here for it. – Jeanette Hernandez

Felícita feat. Fresco Phillipe - “Ojalá Que Te Vaya Bien”

ATL native Felícita has been ramping up her output these last few months, dropping four singles. Her newest, “Ojalá Que Te Vaya Bien,” is a cumbia ditty in collaboration with fellow Atlanta singer Fresco Phillipe. Over the music, the emotion in their voices tells the story of lovers pushing past their pangs of heartbreak and resentment to wish their exes a better life. The high road is sometimes not as well-traveled, but finding the strength not to be petty is something to sing about, even if Felícita and Fresco manage to sneak in some subtle shots. They’re lovelorn but not pendejos, after all. — Juan J. Arroyo

Fakefruit - “Mucho Mistrust”

Hailing from Northern California, Oakland post-punkers Fake Fruit announces their new signing to Carpark Records and their upcoming new album with lead single by the same name, “Mucho Mistrust.” The track is sonically doused with energetic punches and dynamic riffs, while laced with the growls of frontwoman Hannah D’Amato trying to navigate life’s challenges by figuring out how to push through. Simply put, it’s relatably disorienting and enjoyably cathartic. The accompanying video is a satirical, tongue-in-cheek play on religion taking the form of a popular chosen method of coping with life’s complexities that stars none other than her very own grandmother. – Jeanette Diaz

Eme Malafe - “San Judas”

In the lead single off his upcoming debut album SANTOS, Eme MalaFe recalls his humble beginnings while expressing gratitude for how his life turned out. “San Judas” falls under malianteo, which blends those familiar urban instrumentals with lyrics referring to the social climate. Those hints of hip-hop and trap are in the overtly regional Mexican track about MalaFe’s hustle to the top and leaving his barrio in Mexico City. His album will dive deeper into different social issues, giving a voice to the voiceless. — Chelsea Quezada

Las Nubes - “Pesada”

Let the title of this song be a warning — “Pesada” is a heavy song. However, in their hands, “heavy” doesn’t equal oppressive. “Pesada” manages to find a sweet spot between slow, stoner rock guitar riffs and hooky vocals, developing a unique psychedelic edge that conjures images of both dreams and nightmares. Las Nubes proves that injecting melody to sludgy riffs is somewhat unmined territory and can produce truly magical music. For an added bonus, check the video where members Ale Campos and Emile Milgrim add an extra layer of metal by donning corpse paint. — Marcos Hassan

Omar Apollo - “Dispose Of Me”

God Said No, Omar Apollo’s recently announced sophomore studio album — which may or may not include a song about Pedro Pascal — is coming out next month, and we’re now getting another preview while we patiently wait. “Dispose Of Me” is a heartfelt R&B ballad with a timeless production where he rips his chest open and bleeds words of reconciliation, even though his lover has hurt him before. He believes in true love against the odds and delivers it in such a raw, emotional way that it makes us tear up. — Cheky

Violeta Castillo, Matt Montero - “Zoom”

In recent years, Buenos Aires has emerged as the new capital of campy Latin American electropop with prismatic releases from Ceretti and Ibiza Pareo. The latest entry in this glittering canon comes from Violeta Castillo and Matt Montero, who’ve teamed up for “Zoom,” a throbbing tale of obsession sounding like a hybrid between Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and Miranda!’s “Yo Te Diré.” “Y le hago zoom, zoom, zoom a tu foto,” they sing on the undeniable hook, fueling an all-out assault on the senses accompanied by triggering, nostalgic MySpace-era aesthetics. – Richard Villegas

Orquesta Akokán - “Con Licencia”

From the soulful label that brought us Thee Sacred Souls, Menahan Street Band, and Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, comes Daptone’s latest venture into international sound: Orquesta Akokán. An ensemble that brings together the radiant sounds of New York and Cuba, Orquesta Akokán is a collaboration that breathes life into the nostalgic genre of Cuban Mambo, a genre not dying but in need of revitalization. Akokán is one of the latest and most innovative groups moving the genre in a progressive direction while maintaining its airy, joyous foundations. With their third album on the horizon, “Con Licencia” is the first cut and comes straight from the soul. It’s a strong reintroduction of the group for a larger audience, with a tune that embodies joy and spirit, polished by the sounds of brass and bongos. The warm blare of the opening trumpet paints a vivid picture of a Havana alleyway in the summertime. The sounds bleed a picture that captures each player’s passion. This is the first song from the ensemble to feature the new lead singer and group lyricist, Kiko Ruiz. As a priest from the Palo Mayombe religion, Ruiz’s secular influence is brought to life with the music videos accompanying visuals and is channeled more through Ruiz’s performance than lyricism, bridging the nurturing elements of religion and music. – Alan Baez

Absa G. & Matías Juarez - “Apunto”

Mexican hip-hop isn’t dead – and Absa G. is here to prove it with sentimental lyrics and captivating melodies. His latest testament? “Apunto” with Argentinean artist Matías Juarez showcases both artists’ flow on top of a beat featuring rhythmic classic guitar, bass, and trap elements. Produced by Under, the song narrates a dissolving relationship that’s hard to get over – a predicament that resonates with many. “Apunto” follows Absa G.’s latest single “La Respesta” with Zizzy. Point blank: both recent singles are enough to keep an eye on this emerging Chihuahua-born rapper’s blossoming career. – Jeanette Hernandez

Julio Del Hoyo - “GUAYA”

This week, Julio Del Hoyo drops his newest single, “GUAYA,” and it’s another feast for fans of his wordplay. The Puerto Rican rapper has been sharpening his lyrical expertise for years and has only improved with time. Just as he did on the “CÓDIGO DE ORDEN PÚBLICO (REMIX),” this new track deftly mixes catchy horndog storytelling and bravado alongside messages of solidarity with marginalized nations. His talent is in making that odd combo work and wielding the word “guaya” in every myriad of its meanings (at least, within Puerto Rican slang). Whether it’s as a solo artist or as member of trio Batallón Sónico, his pen can always be counted on to enlighten and entertain. — Juan J. Arroyo

Tiago Iorc & Julia Mestre - “Bésame, Esqueça-me”

A Brazilian pop powerhouse collaboration, Tiago Iorc and Julia Mestre team together to bring life to a luscious ballad fueled by a battlefield of desire. A single off of Iorc’s latest album release, “Bésame, Esqueça-me” is a standout single driven by softened percussion and spellbinding guitar melodies while the two harmonize their expressions of confused, longing urges at a relationship’s end. There is building passion and yearning as the track moves on, but a back and forth on what the cravings are actually for — is it for one last kiss or for the last memory to fade before forgetting them completely? – Jeanette Diaz