13 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Christian Alicea to Jarina De Marco

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Therapist Music & Jack Nine Films.
Courtesy of Therapist Music & Jack Nine Films.
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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 Christian Alicea, Jarina De Marco with Emmanuel Horvilleur, and The Red Pears. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Christian Alicea - “Bendiciones Mama y Pape”

Unconditional love and faith are unmatched. Christian Alicea’s new video for “Bendiciones Mama y Pape” describes the exact sentiment with lyrics that describe him avoiding the evil eye. The music video for the rhythmic song that meshes salsa and rap features the Puerto Rican singer in a remake of his childhood room, plastered with influential posters and frames (including his role model Héctor Lavoe). During the video, we see him smoking a cigar and embracing his parent’s words featured in the song’s intro and outro. “The best feeling is to see my parents’ proud faces,” he wrote online. “Because of them I can’t stop, because of them I try to be a better human being and because of them I am what I am.” – Jeanette Hernandez

Jarina De Marco, Emmanuel Horvilleur - “Coca-Cola”

There’s no deep meaning behind this seductive new banger from the reigning alt-pop diva: She’s the last Coke in the desert, aka the most desirable person you can imagine. Jarina owns the track, going full-on sex goddess in her vocal delivery while the beat crawls through velvety basslines. Her sighs and coos turn the temperature off the charts, and Illya Kuryaki’s Emmanuel Horvilleur makes an appearance with a verse that plays it cool. You could dance to “Coca-Cola,” but perhaps another type of physical activity may come to mind. — Marcos Hassan

Alan Palomo, Flore Benguigui - “Meutrière”

Neon Indian is no more, but Alan Palomo is far from being done crafting evocative electro-pop. Recent singles “Stay-At-Home DJ” and the Mac DeMarco-featuring “Nudista Mundial ’89” lean into Palomo’s more playful side with schlocky odes to ’80s cinema and deep-cut soundtracks. Nowhere is this celluloid influence as evident as with his latest single, “Meutrière,” a luscious blast of italo-disco that enlists singer Flore Benguigui of French nu-disco band L’Impératrice for a truly immersive slice of retro dance floor seduction. – Richard Villegas

The Red Pears - “The Way You Talk”

El Monte, CA, trio The Red Pears tap into the spirit of mid-aughts garage rock on their latest single, “The Way You Talk.” Here they level up by buffing their fuzz-soaked riffs smooth and embrace gleaming, jangly chords and bubblegum choruses. Singer and guitarist Henry Vargas bounces between frustrated, raspy croons and cool sing-speak strides, recalling the essence of Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, as he recaps “a relationship gone awry.” – Nayeli Portillo

Las Abejas - “Cántico Nocturno”

Las Abejas has undergone a handful of identity changes since its inception. What began as The Bee’s Knees, a Puerto Rican punk rock band in the vein of Green Day, morphed over the years into a more contemplative and subdued indie rock sound. Their newest single, “Cántico Nocturno,” flips the script again. This time they lean into synth-rock influences, incorporating new elements to their repertoire (including cowbell) for an overall more active air. The music video illustrates the approach, featuring two people participating in a portrayal that blurs the line between performative dance and combat. — Juan J. Arroyo

Mariposa - “Quemando”

Amsterdam-based Colombian-Italian rapper Mariposa snatched our attention with her fierce delivery and fiery take on hip-hop and drill, and she’s finally sharing her six-track debut EP, Otro Mundo. Sitting second on the tracklist is “Quemando,” an R&B-inspired jam where she opens her heart completely to let us into her flaws and fears. Switching from rapping to singing, she acknowledges putting up a tough front while struggling with mental health issues that leave her feeling trapped and hopeless. “Quemando” is proof of Mariposa’s thematic and sonic versatility. – Cheky

Loyal Lobos - "Si Volviera A Conocerte" 

Fresh off the release of her EP Una Freak in May, Loyal Lobos returns with the ruminative ballad “Si Volviera A Conocerte.” Behind her moniker, Andrea Silva works through feelings of heartbreak and what she would change if she could turn back the clock on her past relationship. The piano anchors the sentiment, and the introduction of a steady drum and percussion kicks it up a notch. The accompanying video takes place in an open field, with Silva and her horse pacing throughout it. The Colombian singer’s soft voice powers through the emotions and what-ifs with ease. — Chelsea Quezada

Manuel García & Denise Rosenthal - “ACUARIO”

To celebrate the song’s 11th anniversary, Chilean singer-songwriter Manuel García freshened up his iconic hit “Acuario,” this time enlisting Chilean popstar Denise Rosenthal to add a contemporary touch. With a more electronic, ambient, and psychedelic sound, García injected a more modern pop detail into the 2012 classic. The most distinguished change, however, is at the song’s ending, where he switched out the echoing electric guitar outro for a psychedelic finish. – Jeanette Hernandez

Stella Santana - “Be”

Singer Stella Santana has an undeniable gift for melody, and she uses it to confront difficult feelings in songs that feel warm and cool in equal measure. “Be” is a minimalist track that gets its grit from speaker-rattling 808s and finger-snap beats, offset by multitracked harmonies and Santana’s lovely vocals. The track unfolds seamlessly into a stream of sound in which the singer ponders existential questions in an emotional way. The result is a track that feels close to the chest yet vulnerable enough to offer comfort to the listener. — Marcos Hassan

Mediopicky - “R0s4L14 no se invento ese sonidito”

Mediopicky has long since proven he can trigger a perreo tidal wave with a single beat drop, but his knack for poignant satire often goes criminally underrated. Much of his acclaimed self-titled 2022 LP comments on pandemic profiteering and digital clout chasing over cheeky canvases of dembow, house, and garage. And even now with the casual Soundcloud drop of “R0s4L14 no se invento ese sonidito,” the inventive Dominican producer jabs at the whitewashing of dembow by simply winking to the chirping sample from Rosalía’s viral smash “Bizcochito.” The instrumental gem is a thrilling ride of crashing percussion and elastic bass lines that perfectly encapsulates Mediopicky’s wit without him uttering a single word. – Richard Villegas

Charlie Renée - “Again”

With dulcet tones and a honeyed voice, Charlie Renée offers a fresh entry into Puerto Rico’s rapidly expanding music scene. She had a bout with the indie world years ago, collaborating with acts like rapper Stz Poetic and Deborah Blues of disbanded collective LA CIVDAD. But now, she’s teaming up with experienced producers Mauro and Brandon Cores for an earnest return. With the new single “Again,” she channels the soulful emotions of Snoh Aalegra and Cleo Sol for a track that smuggles a lustful narrative within a melodic and heartfelt sound. The future of Puerto Rican R&B is slowly being written, and Charlie aims to have a chapter of her own. — Juan J. Arroyo

Apache O’Raspi - “Dejodejode”

“A song from the scar and not from the wound.” That’s how multitalented Torreon artist Apache O’Raspi describes “Dejodejode,” a new single recently dropped together with “Sombra Blanca.” Right at the heart of the song is O’Raspi, with his stunning fingerpicked guitar work and emotionally-charged voice, reflecting on what he and his significant other have to win and lose from a separation. But the gorgeous arrangements, which feature understated electronic programming and ethereal French horn melodies, shoot this song to the heavens. – Cheky

Cyril Kamer - “Zendaya”

“Zendaya” sees Spanish artist Cyril Kamer comparing his love interest to the Hollywood it-girl herself. Through a zesty Afrobeat produced by El Salao and a repeating chorus, we can picture the subject perfectly: “Piel morena de playa, los ojos de Zendaya.” It’s high praise from the Barcelona artist, and Kamer hits his stride as he raps about the effect she’s had on him. The track is primed for success, especially considering the love it’s gotten on social media since before its release. — Chelsea Quezada