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.
Feid, Mora, Eladio Carrion - “Fumeteo (Remix)”
Feid’s last album, Inter Shibuya, showcases a new front-runner in Colombia’s take on reggaeton. Among the hits written by the 29-year-old artist, “Fumeteo” deserves a highlight with 12 million views on YouTube and a somber production by Sky Rompiendo—who managed to bring a Timbaland-like, 2000s hip-hop aura to the track. All of that is more than enough for Feid to revamp his own song, a task that was successfully accomplished by Eladio Carrion’s laid-back style and Mora’s storytelling rhyme style. — Felipe Maia
Sech, DJ Khaled - "Borracho"
We don’t know if Sech got in this situation by playing himself, but we hear him really going through it in “Borracho.” With the greatest hypeman/living meme by his side, the Panamanian emcee drips honey over the surprisingly hard dembow beats, lamenting his lover gone while he drinks himself into oblivion. Hook after hook land as he yearns for his partner, wishes her the best, and tries to forget her altogether with the help of liquor, making “Borracho” a late contender for sad perreo anthem of 2021. — Marcos Hassan
REYNA - “Home Alone”
Christmas is coming full steam ahead, and we can already feel it in the air. But if you still can’t, don’t worry, REYNA has just the right stuff to get you in the holiday mood. Written during last winter and recorded in a stripped-down manner, “Home Alone” gives us just the right amount of warmth and nostalgia every good Christmas song should have. By the end of the song, we also wanna curl up on a couch with a special someone and watch a young Macaulay Culkin terrorize a pair of burglars. — Cheky
Late Nite Laundry - “Back of My Head”
Hailing from Chicago, soul outfit Late Nite Laundry went through a sudden recalibration last year after their debut EP’s tour was halted due to the pandemic and their lead singer left the band. The remaining members trekked forward and have been releasing new music at a steady clip, with a new-yet-not identity that maintained the jazzy recipe that made them lift off to begin with. Their new single, “Back of My Head,” is where the twain meet as the vocals of bassist Emily Burlew and guitarist Ari Lindo glide over a dreamy melody, together echoing the heartbreak of its lyrics. — Juan J. Arroyo
Natisú - "La Distancia"
As suggested by the title of her brand new album Hay Un Fuego, a bright and powerful fire has engulfed the heart of Chilean singer-songwriter and producer Natisú. Whether fanning the flames of revolution on recent single “Somos la Resistencia,” or embracing transformative symbolism on new existential stand out “Las Distancias;” Natisú explores evolution and rebirth with radically delicate vocal performances and explosive electronic breakdowns. — Richard Villegas
MUSAS - "Destino" feat. Luis Eduardo Acústico
From the soundtrack of Netflix’s series La Casa de Papel to the Brazilian funk “Só Quer Vrau,” the Italian old-time protest song “Bella Ciao” has been reshaped into numerous versions over the past decades. The trio Musas jump in the same trend with “Destino,” a single that starts with the more than recognizable original song melody only to break into an EDM, salsa choke frenzy. Luis Eduardo Acústico, a Colombian singer that has been gaining the spotlights in his country, comes up to the stage with some lines and dance moves—both also well-managed by the girl band Musas. — Felipe Maia
Austero - “Despierto En Mi Mente”
Listening to “Despierto En Mi Mente,” one can come to the conclusion that rock n’ roll has retired to the Chihuahua desert to evolve to its next phase. This trio churns out a rusty metallic waltz with shades of post-hardcore, bringing gravitas to their simple yet commanding lurch. Surprising guitar melodies hint at the emotion within the song, fully blooming when the piano shows up in the outro. — Marcos Hassan
Rawayana - “Caney” (feat. Jambene)
Following the release of their fourth studio album Cuando los Acéfalos Predominan only a few months ago, the Venezuelan collective Rawayana is right back at it with a new collaboration with singer Jambene. “Caney” brings them back to the poppy reggae/rocksteady-laden sounds that made them popular in the first place, and not coincidentally: this song is Rawayana patting themselves on the back for all the hard work they’ve done over a whole decade, and we’re down to join the celebration. — Cheky
San Mateo - “Mala Tuya Pero No” feat. Los Rarxs
Vermont and Puerto Rico may sound like odd bedfellows at first blush, but it’s hard to deny the fruits of that union when listening to the sound of self-described psych/soul band San Mateo. San Juan-based Matteo Burr and Burlington music scene staple Matthew Hagen have taken their single “Sorry Doesn’t Dry These Tears” and given it some sazón courtesy of trap/soul group Los Rarxs. Vento Alejandro’s vocals honor Craig Mitchell’s original lyrics while giving them a decidedly boricua spin while emcees Erre and FOKINFROID inject the swagger that comes with being wronged and having the confidence to move on. — Juan J. Arroyo
Inka - "Jarabe"
Fiery Dominican rapper Inka has come a long way from the quirky narrations of early singles like “La Ambulancia,” crafting increasingly sharpened bars that take aim at colorism, materialism, and social inequality. Offering a spoonful of perreo catharsis on their latest single “Jarabe,” Inka vents his frustrations with Santo Domingo’s overwhelming concrete sprawl and the incessant dueling combo of haters and grinding that makes dancing a soul-nourishing refuge. — Richard Villegas