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.
Natti Natasha & Becky G – “Ram Pam Pam”
The dynamic reggaetonera duo team up once again, since their first collab “Sin Pijama,” for another perreo-ready anthem for all those finding themselves after leaving a toxic relationship. The upbeat tempos and steady flows celebrate the confidence and sexual autonomy that is found once you outgrow the spaces where your worth isn’t recognized and move onto better things. Nothing says I’ve moved on quite like dancing about your new man with your girls while the old one, or in this case a special appearance by Prince Royce, watches on. —Jeanette Diaz
Mx. Matias – "Carla Cabrona"
Contrasting delicate, acoustic sounds with pounding electronic production, Los Angeles-based Mx. Matías has delivered a brand new gem of anti-patriarchal hedonism titled “Carla Cabrona.” Skeletal merengue-punk is infused with Spanish guitar throughout the track, all while Mx. Matías embodies the satyr Carla Cabrona to denounce machismo and praise the divine feminine in an oddly captivating goat-like cadence. —Richard Villegas
Boogarins – “Far and Safe (Te quero longe)”
Over the years, Goiânia, Brazil’s Boogarins have displayed a wide range of psychedelic music, from trippy-pop balladry to electronic experimentations. The closing track from Machaca Vol. 2, their latest collection of odds and ends, seems to explore every one of these experiments into a cohesive and relatively short song, making it a highlight of their career so far and an exciting springboard for the future of the band. —Marcos Hassan
Alegría Rampante – "Como En La Radio"
Eduardo Alegría is getting his groove back; as his beloved band Alegría Ramante returns to the spotlight, the artist embraces danceable grooves on the singles leading up to their forthcoming album, Poblado. Their latest release is “Como en la Radio,” which strays from the usual guitar melodies and instead floats on an enveloping bass and synth combo, produced by Juan Antonio Arroyo. “Como en la Radio” comes with an accompanying music video directed by Oswaldo Colón featuring an outlandishly costumed Alegría, animation from Uziel Orlandi Alegría and buttery voguing from island ballroom legend Edrimael Delgado. —Richard Villegas
Myke Towers – "PIN PIN"
Few artists blow up as quickly and definitively as Myke Towers has these past few years, and the Puerto Rican young gun has just released his long-awaited new LP “Lyke Mike.” Towers is that rare artist who leans on his own talent and forgoes too many guest appearances, betting on himself to incredible success so far. In “PIN PIN,” he channels salsa legend Tommy Olivencia and effortlessly melds his rat-tat-tat wordplay with the instrumentals better than anyone since Julio Voltio in his prime. —Juan Arroyo
Joelii – “Cool de Modelo”
LA-based Dominican artist and Jenn Morel collaborator Joelii has a five-track EP fresh out of the oven and it’s hot. Buena Vaina includes a brand-new track called “Cool de Modelo,” where Joelii showers a Black Latina love interest with flowers and cheeky puns. It’s built on an irresistible dembow beat and a synth hook that will live rent-free in your head from the second you first hear it. —Cheky
Twin Shadow – “Alemania”
Twin Shadow slides further down the funky sledge with “Alemania,” the follow-up to “Johnny & Jonnie” and new single off his fifth album that’s coming out later this year. Switching up the script once again, as Twin Shadow does, he’s giving us Lenny Kravitz vibes with this acoustic guitar-driven jam, complete with an electrifying guitar solo. He doesn’t hold back with his tales of international sexual affairs, and the room is getting steamier by the second. —Cheky
Deftones – “Ceremony”
Over the years, Deftones have become cult heroes by refining their very particular brand of music: dark, seductive and heavy in equal measures. “Ceremony” is a prime example of this approach as well as a standout where every element clicks, the atmospherics that give way to head-banging riffs and back again, giving the listener a transcendental and uplifting feeling. The video also packs quite the psychological horror punch, complementing the vibe of the track. —Marcos Hassan
Temporex – “U Open Up A Window”
San Diego-based musician and visual artist Joseph Flores, aka TEMPOREX, has released his latest single “U Open Up A Window” off of his upcoming LP. The single serves as an ode to all the people throughout his life who have guided him to open new windows through life and inspired him to gain a new perspective in life. The melodic piano and electronic synths are sonically ’80’s inspired with nods to David Bowie and Prince while the visuals are inspired by Mr. Window of Pee-Wee’s playhouse. —Jeanette Diaz
Yanna – "Viviana"
In her new single, the Peruvian and Paris-based artist Yanna brings together the stories lived by the women of her family and merges them into a sonic short story. Starting with a sampled testimony about violence, Yanna manages to fit a number of episodes about physical and psychological abuse in under four minutes, while also touching on enjoying life. Her Viviana could be found in different Latin American countries and, sonically, Yanna plays around with chopping dembow beats and taking advantage of different vocal techniques. She sings joyfully about being the queen of the neighborhood, but raps hard whenever it’s needed. —Felipe Maia
Isa Marina – "Down"
Dancehall basslines, trap drum rolls and kicks and an earworm chorus: These are the elements that make up the foundation of the latest pop attempt by Isa Marina. After her 2017 debut and a couple of singles in the years that followed, the Bronx-based singer seems to have found a home in the making of a track that’s made for the 2021 outdoor summer ahead of us—the lyrics even come with an “ole ole.” Marina’s vocal inflections along the beat evoke an inevitable comparison with J. Lo in her “Get Right” era, which is a rather good sign. —Felipe Maia
Tommy Blanco – "La Recompensa"
A member of the loose Latin trap collective Mojitrap and frequent collaborator of recent breakout star Villano Antillano, Tommy Blanco has, up until now, stood firmly on the trap side of the aisle with his past singles. Now though, with “La Recompensa,” he takes a surprise dive into what can only be described as trap laced with electronic, which is fitting as the opening of the video finds the characters talking about laced weed. reggaetón-meets-The Limelight in this surreal song that’s a bold breakaway from the usual fare. —Juan Arroyo