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.
Loyal Lobos - "Hate My Face"
Looks like a follow up to Loyal Lobos’ debut album Everlasting is right around the corner, and we’re up for it. “Hate My Face” is the first 2021 single release by LA Based singer/songwriter Loyal Lobos. The Evan Voytas produced dreamy pop-ballad carries some ‘90s nostalgia, a testament of Andrea Silva’s quest of exploring the past, present, and future through her music. -Joel Moya
RED6XTEEN - “ARMAGEDDON”
RED6XTEEN is on a steady flex straight out of the Dominican Republic. Living up to her moniker, the heavy flows pour out of the young artist with a tenacious, fiery ease and zero apologies. It’s Red season, and Armageddon is here to remind anyone who forgets as she spearheads an evolution of drill music that carves out a space for women. A style all of her own from sound to fashion, she fuses influences from freestyle rap, trap, and elements of reggaeton beats to create a crimson world of her own where she reigns supreme. -Jeanette Diaz
Haviah Mighty - “Flamenco” ft. Mala Rodríguez
Hip-hop artist Haviah Mighty teams up with rapera Mala Rodríguez on “Flamenco,” a sensually upbeat dance track made for hot summer nights. The song brings around Mighty’s Caribbean rhythm leanings in reggae and dancehall, with an exploration of a new genre inspired by the cultural influences behind flamenco. Reigning in Rodriguez as a guest spot, the Barcelona-based artist asserts her verse with a bold energy wrapped in Spanish lyricism. The result of the two worlds colliding? A feel-good song with a passport to global dance floors everywhere. -Jeanette Diaz
Juan Desordenado & Chini.png - "El Sol"
Columpios al Suelo frontman Juan Pablo Órdenes has officially made his solo debut under his new Juan Desordenado moniker with “El Sol,” a gorgeous dream pop collaboration with fellow Chilean artist Chini.png. The first single from his upcoming album Visiones is built with different textures of electric guitars and simple electronic programming, while both singers intertwine their voices to paint beachy landscapes that make us feel the dim rays of a winter sun on our faces. -Cheky
C. TANGANA - “Yate”
Leave it to C. Tangana to write a song about breaking up by visualizing getting on a yacht and sailing away, ice-cold champagne in hand. Admittedly, it’s a late entry to be considered for song of the summer, but it can still soundtrack the waning days of the season, as the track perfectly captures a special feeling. Borrowing freely from Balearic beat, house, flamenco, and dembow, “Yate” is a lush, catchy, and slightly sad song to play as night approaches. -Marcos Hassan
Zoom Soon Bao, Xiomara Fortuna - "No Te Hagas"
Following joyful crossovers with indie darlings like Rosee Abreu and Limachel, Venezuelan producer Zoom Soon Bao has released a brand new collaboration with none other than Dominican fusion legend Xiomara Fortuna. The cheeky “No Te Hagas” is an afro-futuristic club track booming in a symphony of organic and digitally rendered percussion, greatly amplified by Fortuna’s menacing, hypnotic incantations aimed at the poor soul who’s pissed her off. -Richard Villegas
Luna Luna - “Feel it Now”
After dropping a pair of EPs in 2018 and 2019, Dallas foursome Luna Luna have finally released their first album Flower Moon, which includes the party jam “Feel it Now.” Here, they conjure funky stylings, gated drums, fuzzy dual guitar/bass solos, and infallible congas to try to invoke an undisclosed feeling they can’t shake off. If they’re looking for the feeling of letting it all out in a careless dance session, they hit the nail on the head. -Cheky
Jay Wheeler ft. Tyla Yaweh - “Take My Life”
Jay Wheeler brings a new dose of mainstream radio-friendly sound to those who can’t let go of that Quarantine crush in “Take My Life.” The Puerto Rican singer who’s not a stranger to experimentation with different genres and sound tapped American rapper Tyla Yaweh for his first ever English song. His last single “Viendo El Techo” managed to get his first No. 1 on a Billboard Airplay Chart. Let’s see where this new single will take him. -Joel Moya
Parrot Dream - "Automatic System"
Brooklyn via Chile shoegazers Parrot Dream have finally unveiled “Automatic System,” the first glimpse of their follow up to 2018’s ethereal head trip, Light Goes. Embracing drum machines and sequencers, their sound has evolved in a more pensive than danceable direction, with Gonzalo Guerrero’s echoing guitar and Christina Hansen Apple’s haunting vocals ringing through the pedal textures as clearly as ever. -Richard Villegas
Provoker - “Vehicle Dissolve”
The keyboard riff that opens “Vehicle Dissolve” could easily presage a dembow beat about to drop. But instead, we’re greeted with a drum machine straight from the darkest shadows of the 1980s. LA’s Provoker one-ups every meme-ready post-punk cover of reggaeton songs and fuses the two worlds together, putting Soundcloud-rap vocal cadences to gothic basslines and icy drum machines. The result is a song that can be enjoyed by sad people regardless of their preferred rhythm of choice. -Marcos Hassan