16 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Los Esquivel to riela

Lead Photo: Courtesy of WK Records.
Courtesy of WK Records.
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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 Los Esquivel, riela, and Gepe with Rubén Albarrán. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Los Esquivel - "Hasta El QLO (feat. Kevin AMF)”

Gen Zs are taking over with electro-corridos. Emerging electronic duo Los Esquivel – formed by brothers Sebastian and Eugenio Esquivel – teamed up with newcomer Kevin AMF for their newest EDM earworm, “Hasta El QLO.” In the song, the artists trade hype verses on top of brass instruments like a dancing trumpet and tuba, accompanied by an accordion and driven by your average club-ready beat. Together, they talk about showing off their excessive luxuries to TikTokers – totally dating their juvenile style and having fun while at it. – Jeanette Hernandez

riela - “la emoción”

After a two-year hiatus, riela announces her return to music with new single, “la emoción.” Back in 2022, she released llorar y perrear, one of the more promising projects in the then-burgeoning Latine R&B scene. This week, as part of the initial preamble towards a new EP later this fall, she shares this self-described bachata/R&B fusion. She sings about the intoxication of a new love and how the thin line between the flesh and the heart makes those feelings all the more potent. “Casi te lo digo pero todavía no,” she croons, and we’ve all been there. But for fans, saying they love this song will come much easier. — Juan J. Arroyo

Gepe & Rubén Albarrán - “VIVO”

As if right on cue, Gepe brings us yet another antidote to these bleak times with his latest single, “VIVO.” An electro-charged cumbia brimming with trumpets fueled by an intoxicating syncopated beat lies at the core of “VIVO” as an impassioned Gepe doles out back-to-back ebullient bars: “Soy vivo/Bailando vivo siempre,” “Vivo cantando te…Vivo bailando te.” Café Tacuba frontman Rubén Albarrán swoops in for a verse to rhapsodize about the beauty of life alongside the Chilean pop innovator for a flawless collaboration. – Nayeli Portillo

J Noa - “Mátense Por la Corona”

Latin Grammy nominee J Noa’s highly anticipated debut album, Mátense Por la Corona, is out today, and the title track is a true showcase of who she is. The opening instrumental lures listeners in with an ominous big band instrumental, and in the blink of an eye, the Dominican rapper takes over with an otherworldly flow about self-reliance. “Mátense Por la Corona” arrives with a music video shot in Santo Domingo, seeing people fighting for the crown in question. As Noa states in the track, she’s simply in another league. — Chelsea Quezada

Mabe Fratti - “Enfrente”

“Enfrente” finds Guatemalan experimentalist Mabe Fratti using rhythm to make music that’s not only deeper than her usual affair but also more experimental in a completely different way. Propelled by a slow, jazzy breakbeat, “Enfrente” layers brief percussive notes throughout the song. Singing a lovely melody in her low register, her cello provides a hip-swinging bassline while still keeping things atmospheric. “Enfrente” even ends with a nod to the jazziest strain of late-’90s drum n’ bass without radically altering her style, proving that Fratti still has the power to surprise us with her amazing music. — Marcos Hassan

Alexia Mariel, Barovier - “Cardio”

Rising stars Alexia Mariel and Barovier joined forces to create a reclamation anthem with “CARDIO.” A hyper-energetic track that fuses hip-hop stylings, slowed reggaeton rhythms, and overlaid EDM beats, the duo answers their own question of “why do you do cardio if you don’t have a heart?” in the most upbeat way. Conjoined in the shared experience of confronting an ex-lover, the Mexican rising duo takes their respective flows to call out the lackluster and harmful behavior they once tolerated but won’t any longer. As the track goes on, so does the call for female autonomy and empowerment in the name of breaking toxic cycles and healing toward a future of only settling for what they deserve. – Jeanette Diaz

aLex vs aLex, Gabriel Dinero - “ya no”

Slinky Guatemalan singer aLex vs aLex has been teasing cuts from her forthcoming debut EP, cobbling a delicious melange of woozy R&B and warbling electronica slated for release this summer. Her latest offering is “ya no,” alongside London-based Chapín Gabriel Dinero, which unspools the post-breakup awkwardness of wanting to see each other again but maybe still clinging to resentment. The beat is built on a hypnotic rhythm section, clanging percussion, and an oddly eery acoustic guitar that perfectly captures the bittersweet discomfort of rekindling an old flame. – Richard Villegas

Mujeres, SVPER - “Un Final Ideal”

Right on time for their Primavera Sound 2024 participation, Catalan trio Mujeres dropped “Un Final Ideal,” a new single where they awoke back beloved Spanish-Argentine duo SVPER from their slumber. Closer to the synth-rock sounds of the latter than Mujeres’ signature garage and power pop, “Un Final Ideal” shines with electronic sounds and a hypnotic rhythm as Luciana Della Villa and Yago Alcover intertwine their voices anticipating the dawn of a new era, one where they can shed their old selves and finally find whatever it is they were always looking for. – Cheky

Santiza - “No Hablo Chino”

Venezuelan artist and producer Santiza embraces an experimental, bass-heavy, electronic vein in her new single “No Hablo Chino.” By calling in sexy synthesizers and a throbbing beat, the bilingual artist oozes a darker vibe as she sings about feeling lost in translation. The result? A new infectious rave banger for those looking for a sweaty night out in a foggy club under a shining disco ball. – Jeanette Hernandez

Bebo Dumont - “Sinse”

Bebo Dumont’s previous singles have been all manner of soulful and groovy, but his newest joint, “Sinse,” is his most delectable yet. The Puerto Rican journeyman vocalist amps up his seductive flourishes to their maximum flirtatious potential here, alternating between flowery (“Labios sabor a ron”) and salacious (“Mano en su pantalón”) in the same breath. The David B-produced beat makes for a perfect soundtrack, starting with smooth R&B and ending on a sticky neo-soul outro that sends pheromones soaring. It’s the perfect summer track for sliding up to your partner under a hot sun or breezy night and doing both as Bebo says and Bebo does. — Juan J. Arroyo

The Red Pears - “It's Alright”

Indie rock trio The Red Pears dial up the nostalgia factor some more in “It’s Alright,” the latest single off of last month’s Better Late Than Never. A minimalist but methodic sound colored by blasts of raspy vocal hooks and angular guitars energizes “It’s Alright,” while singer and guitarist Henry Vargas daydreams away and sings about finding solace in the safety of his bed. The Pears make their way back to their alma mater, El Monte’s Mountain View High School, for the track’s accompanying video directed by Vargas, made in collaboration with members of the school’s VISTA and Drama club. – Nayeli Portillo

Andy Rivera - “Primera Cita”

Following up on the success of “Qué Rico Sería,” Andy Rivera’s “Primera Cita” depicts a growing and distinct connection with a new love interest. Gushing about their eyes, perfume, and hair, the passionate track goes between uptempo salsa and a slower reggaeton beat. It fluidly fuses both genres, making it appealing to a wide demographic. The nostalgia factor is upped in the music video, where the Colombian artist takes his date to a drive-in movie. “Primera Cita” has a spot in the soundtrack for this year’s summer romance. — Chelsea Quezada

Magdalena Bay - “Death & Romance”

Avant-pop duo Magdalena Bay is back with another serving of amazing melodies and warped ideas. The result is the danceable and lively “Death & Romance,” which also gives off introspective vibes and a whole other dimension to it. Although it’s titled “Death & Romance,” the track displays a certain breeziness, most prominently found in its rhythm, aiding the melodies for something irresistible. Electronics buzz around a piano figure that propels the whole song to give us a typically awesome Magdalena Bay track, continuing their tradition of bringing together the past into the future for something that’s not usually heard in the present. — Marcos Hassan

Abel Ibañez G. - “Madrugada”

Abel Ibañez G. captures the variegated experience that is healing with his latest single, “Madrugada.” The Australian-based Mexican artists’ track is an introspective, softened indie rock track that contemplates what comes next after giving in to the sometimes made-for-us decision to let go. By letting life be experienced, he ponders around, awaiting the encounters that come, whether with others or with ourselves, and everything they have to teach us to start again. Like the title, the track reinforces the allusion that the chance of a new day will always rise alongside the sun at the break of dawn. –  Jeanette Diaz

Michi - “bsf.”

Recent records from Tei Shi and Empress Of have brought the Y2K R&B revival to a fever pitch, and now with her new single “bsf,” Michi is giving us all the Aaliyah and Ashanti vibes we could ever want. Swerving slyly between English and Spanish, the not-so-elusive Dominican chanteuse coos about a friendship with potential for more – carnally speaking – delivering vocal runs and cheeky winks over gauzy guitars and a lurching, seductive groove. – Richard Villegas

Jessie Reyez, Big Sean - “Shut Up”

After a brief break from releasing music, Jessie Reyez finally shared her awaited collaboration with Big Sean, where she gets to flex her rap muscle. On the banging “Shut Up,” the Colombian-Canadian artist effortlessly lays down bars over a nasty hip-hop beat and keeps her haters on mute by boasting her success and the bags she’s made. Add the California rapper backing her up to the mix, and she sounds untouchable. – Cheky