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.
Omar Apollo - “Go Away”
Coming in fresh after last year’s debut album, “Apolonio,” soulful R&B indie crooner Omar Apollo returns with a new single and visualizer for “Go Away.” With the production help of Carter Lang and dynamic electro-funk duo Chromeo, Apollo delivers a heartfelt goodbye to an almost-love through a refined sound of catchy drum beats, an uptempo funk groove, and his signature falsetto. As the lyrical hook progresses, “I just don’t see you enough” is repeated throughout the song, as unrequited pleas to stay eventually turn into his final goodbye. — Jeanette Diaz
Mora x Bad Bunny x Sech - “Volando” Remix
According to Billboard, El Conejo’s team noted Mora’s prowess at writing sweet lyrics and his keen eye for singable reggaeton vocals a few years ago. The remix of “Volando” is an appetizer of this blend — and Mora is not shy even among two of the most current Latin music heavyweight holders: Bad Bunny, with his wholehearted lines, and Sech, who brings an R&B soulfulness to the track. Producer Sky Rompiendo also does a great job grasping the emo and pop-punk comeback, infusing warm guitar riffs into the beat. — Felipe Maia
Cozy - "Ya Lo Se"
Venezuela-born, Mexico-based Cozy is a singer, songwriter, and producer who’s bubbling up with his softer, stylized take on reggaeton. He’s now throwing a curveball at us with his new single, “Ya Lo Se,” an elegant, understated micro-merengue moment. Cozy sings about a girl he has his eye on, filling the air with a sexual tension that is intense and playful at the same time. — Cheky
Neoma - "Fixxión"
Ecuadorian indie-pop pixie Neoma is back with a shimmering new single titled “Fixxión.” The track finds a delightful balance between hedonistic synth arpeggios and coy, almost whispered vocals. Unfolding like a glitter-dipped Tegan and Sara banger, Neoma’s fantastically danceable vision of love can be tricky to define. Between driving guitars and gauzy vocals, she encourages the listener to strive for fairytale glory while never fearing a romance that is stranger than fiction. — Richard Villegas
Dos Santos - “A Shot In The Dark”
Bringing together the unlike pairing of an R&B groove with huapango huasteco-inspired melodies, Dos Santos proves they have the chops to make something seldom heard before. Yet, the most significant impact the song achieves is not musical but emotional. “A Shot In The Dark” reveals in ethereal ecstasy as percussion pushes the song along to a dream-like atmosphere, propelling visions at the edge of night. — Marcos Hassan
Angelo Demarchi - "Juegos de Familia"
It doesn’t take many elements or a lot of time to take us on a journey, and Venezuelan artist Angelo Demarchi proves so on his single “Juegos de Familia,” taken from his latest album JunJul (No-Lugar). In under three minutes, he sings cryptic lyrics about finding growth through introspection, while the beatless song effortlessly shifts from acoustic to electric to distorted and back to acoustic. Don’t miss its equally moving and whimsical music video directed by Demarchi himself. — Cheky
Alvaro Diaz - “Gatillera”
There’s one facet that’s not thematically talked about enough within all the romance songs out there, and that’s platonic love. Puerto Rican artist Alvaro Diaz shares his latest, “Gatillera,” to bring us just that. Written to express an episode of one-sided love experienced during quarantine, the single explores new sonic ground for the rapper. Diaz navigates a lighter, more pop-leaning sound with fixtures of slowed melodies, delicate harmonies, and sensuous horns without compromising his well-known rap flow. — Jeanette Diaz
Danzo, MC Dricka, & MC Cabelinho - “Yah Yah” (Versus Vol. 1) ft. Tropkillaz & Marcelo D2
If you’re a newcomer to Brazilian baile funk and rap, think of this track as a DJ Khaled feature with the créme de la créme of bar-spitters from São Paulo and Rio. The triumph is undoubtedly in the collective effort, but some of the names play a lead role. Dricka shows off her skills melding the baile funk MCing with a laid-back rapping style within a few lines. MC Cabelinho holds on to it as a young Future born and raised in Rio’s favelas. Marcelo D2, a staple in Brazilian hip hop, adds some sauce to the chorus. It’s a trapstar constellation straight from South America. — Felipe Maia
Romeo Diablos - “Despierta”
Dembow can set the night on fire, get the party going, and sometimes, even get us into a sad perreo mood, but did you know it can also open the gates of hell? L.A. producer Romeo Diablos fuses sandungueo with experimental industrial vibes, bringing together aggro-rock vibes with hip-hop-inspired reggaeton, and turning the heat up through rapping and screaming vocals that brings back that unique 00’s vibe. Proceed with caution. — Marcos Hassan
Boom Alakrán - “Mucho Indio”
Over the past year, adventurous production crew Boom Alakrán have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to addressing the many challenges and conflicts unfolding in the streets of their native Colombia. And while singles “Asintomático” and “La Calle Está Dura” seemed ripped from the headlines, their latest slice of political boogie, “Mucho Indio,” brings to light the erasure and resistance of Colombia’s indigenous heritage. It is perfectly coupled with a hybrid beat sourcing everything from salsa to disco. — Richard Villegas