This is a weekly compilation of bite-sized song & EP reviews from our music writers. Discover new favs, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases & more. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Alvaro Díaz feat. Feid - "Llori Pari"
Álvaro Díaz (Alvarito to his friends and fans) has garnered a loyal following over the last near-decade, springing from his days as a member of the collective LA CIVDAD alongside cohorts Brray and Joyce Santana, and now forging ahead as a solo artist in his own right. Díaz has so far mostly kept his collaborations to a close-knit circle of fellow rising stars, and one constant has been Colombian singer Feid. With “Llori Pari,” they return to the breezy reggaetón style that’s been their successful bread and butter. It’s the kind of perreíto you listen to with the windows down, letting the wind dry those heartbreak tears. –Juan J. Arroyo
Erre - "DesenVuelves"
Hand-in-hand with the rousing peak reggaetón, dembow, and Latine trap are going through, the rap scene has also been positively flourishing. Hip-hop heads from all corners have been gorging the past few years on some of the most quality consistent output in a while. Although names are bountiful, Erre intends to make himself felt, and he has the weight of his talent to do so. “DesenVuelves,” off his latest EP Psicolabis, wraps itself in an Afrobeats rhythm courtesy of producer GIIO as Erre waxes about the uncertainty and hanging threads that follow an intimate encounter in a way only wordsmiths can. –Juan J. Arroyo
Xenia Rubinos - “Don't Put Me In Red”
By this point, Xenia Rubinos ability to invite us to a unique world of sound is a given. But truly, there’s hardly anything that can prepare you for “Don’t Put Me In Red.” The song’s intro features Rubinos singing passionately in a wordless manner which itself could be a whole opera. Instead, it gives way to a quiet storm beat in which she lashes out against racists and xenophobes through her immaculate voice. The barely contained rage that fuels the song transforms it into a haunting prayer. –Marcos Hassan
Dos Santos - “A Tu Lado”
Chicago’s Dos Santos has displayed a remarkable talent for mind-expanding fusion and experimentation in their short career. “A Tu Lado” shows that their exhilarating rhythms can retain that feeling even when they are not warping their music into unknown forms. The track is a groovy chicha vamp with lyrics that tell the listener to seize our time in this life. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly straightforward nature of “A Tu Lado,” though. It packs a sort of easy-going dread at heart. –-Marcos Hassan
Amaraae - "SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY" (Remix) (feat. Kali Uchis)
Ghanaian Amaarae’s debut album The Angel You Don’t Know offered an energizing reinterpretation of Afro-pop sounds, like she shows on “SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY,” her collaboration with Moliy. What could this breathy, tears-on-the-dancefloor number possibly be missing? The answer is Kali Uchis, who hopped on the track to add some whispered bilingual verses that’s less about getting paid and a lot more about sex and romance, because money couldn’t be the only thing sad girls love, really. –-Cheky
Los Rivera Destino - "Mis Amigos"
Puerto Rico’s Los Rivera Destino are getting closer and closer to dropping their debut album, produced by Ismael Cancel (iLe/Calle 13). But before that, they’re giving us a weed-infused treat to make us even hungrier for their new music. “Mis Amigos” is a hilarious bolero that celebrates the beautiful friendship between those buddies who smoke marijuana non-stop and those who don’t at all, and the differences that bring them together. The song comes with an equally funny video directed by Juan Botta. –Cheky
Sophia Chablau e Uma Enorme Perda De Tempo - “Fora Do Meu Quarto”
Sad, but warm. This is the trail left by “Fora do Meu Quarto,” the latest music video by the Brazilian indie band Sophia Chablau e Uma Enorme Perda de Tempo. The song is a melancholic love letter to no one, the story of feeling misplaced alone — something that is both unique and universal. Such a melancholy is embodied by the sweet, almost sleepy interpretation of Sophi Chablau herself, accompanied by suspended drum textures and floating guitar chords. –Felipe Maia
Snow Tha Product, Jon Z - "Que Le Gusta El Flow"
Making music may be different from cooking, but sometimes both work in the same way. Add some good amount of sped-up dembow kicks, mix it up with crispy reggaetón snares, put a handful of drill-sliding 808s, and finish it with some hints of that bed squeak sound borrowed from jersey club music. Voilà — that’s the amazing blend served by DJ Lil Sprite and eaten up by Snow Tha Product and Jon Z. It’s good seeing Snow rhyming in Spanish and expanding her boundaries away from the slow-paced type beat that paved her career in the past few years. “Que Le Gusta El Flow” is a potential hit that will definitely add power to the dembow growth around the world. –Felipe Maia
Nebulossa - "Entrópico"
Costa Rican producer Nebulossa has just unveiled a new two-track EP titled Sagrá, shifting his meditative downtempo leanings into immersive organic house. Inspired by the instruments and teachings of his country’s native Boruca people, Nebulossa showcases a more jubilant side of his music on “Entrópico,” melding acoustic drumming with spacey synths that will blast you into a cosmic dance floor. –Richard Villegas
Bial Hclap - "Sierra Madre" (Nurrydog Remix)
Building on the high Andean euphoria of his 2019 single “Sierra Madre,” Guadalajara producer Bial Hclap has enlisted Monterrey powerhouse Nurrydog to update the track with some fresh, club-ready beats. The pair bring back the soaring chants from the original cut, this time layering it with thumping kicks and the lurching güiro you might hear on one of Nurrydog’s signature moombahton-meets-cumbia rebajada bangers. –Richard Villegas