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 Adriel.sfx, Jasiel Nuñez, and Los Aptos. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Adriel.sfx - “Intermisión”
After leading us through a strobing night on the town with last year’s Anocheceres EP, Dominican electronic producer Adriel.sfx is back in familiar weirdo waters, melding ambient, IDM, and booming baile funk drums on “Intermisión.” Sounding like the dance party that ensues following a snooty art gallery show, the track ebbs and flows between contemplative atmospheres and euphoric percussive release — like an introvert finding their groove on an outer corner of the dance floor. – Richard Villegas
Jasiel Nuñez - "Exclusive"
Following up on his December single “Nos Entendemos,” Jasiel Nuñez’s newest offering is most suited for a night out with someone special. “Exclusive” conveys the idea of being present while you’re with someone you’re into. The track also sees Nuñez trying something new musically, combining traditional Mexican guitar with contemporary electronic beats. His efforts to revamp the regional genre for new listeners — while keeping its heart — is memorable. — Chelsea Quezada
A1 NWG - “Coral No. 2”
The last time A1 teamed up with producer Carly Musa, we got the catchy dembow-laden “MACHINEO (Remix).” Now they’re collaborating again, giving us a merengue/mambo tune that’s just as memorable. Just as the video presents, “Coral No. 2” is made to fit into Sunday house cleaning playlists, like the ones Latine households grew up with and still use today. The music gets you moving, but isn’t too abrasive, perfect for swaying along with the beat. A1 NWG typically dabbles as a rapper, but being born and raised in Puerto Rico gave him an ear for tropical music too, and this new track just might make you dance with your broom. — Juan J. Arroyo
Zulia - "Hablamos Mañana"
Ultimate Bad Bunny heads may recognize Juan Diego Linares for his production credit on Un Verano Sin Ti’s “Otro Atardecer.” The Venezuelan producer’s roster includes everyone from Camilo to Danny Ocean, but Linares also releases music as a solo artist under the name Zulia. On “Hablamos Mañana,” he pivots from the smoldering R&B undertones on last year’s “Euterpe” for a more lovesick, indie pop-leaning acoustic ballad that flexes his broad vocal range. – Nayeli Portillo
Los Aptos - “Botellas”
Los Aptos are continuously revamping their sound. Following their Ximena Sariñana-assisted collaboration “Ojalá,” the Mexican-American band switched gears and released their newest single, “Botellas,” creating their version of an electro-corrido. Produced by the band’s keyboardist Daniel Vaidez, “Botellas” starts with their signature sad sierreño elements: using guitar chords, a deep bass, and the vocalist Juan Ortega’s soft voice to enthrall the listener. Once the electronic tinge kicks in, the song’s ambiance quickly puts you in the center by using the sounds of a crowded bar to create his narrative’s drinking scene. By meshing Ortega’s layered croons with a mellow yet infectiously thumping production, the Indiana-originated trio continues to evolve their peculiar sound and keeps their listeners on their feet for what’s next. – Jeanette Hernandez
Bumont - “Lalala” (feat. Fabuloso)
From Guatemala, producer, musician, and Easy Easy member Bumont just dropped the third single off his upcoming new Epicentro EP, and it’s a feel-good collaboration with Peruvian singer Fabuloso. The song features a laid-back hip-hop-inspired beat and lovely instrumentation that, together with Fabuloso’s sweet voice and lyrics about being present and enjoying the moment, can magically get us through any rough day. By the end, you’ll surely join in and chant, “Nada es para siempre, solo el presente.” – Cheky
Meth Math - “Axila”
Cyberpop stalwarts Meth Math have been teasing their forthcoming album with nothing but straight up bangers, and “Axila” is no exception. Drawing from industrial techno and electronic body music, the song has plenty of sharp edges and aggression going on. However, the true magic of “Axila” lies in its use of softer soundscapes in the mix, with synthpads giving a pillowy background and plenty of melody that verges into emo territory to balance the dancey atmosphere, resulting in a track that is both introspective and a rager. “Axila” is a party with interesting elements that add depth to the mayhem inherent in Meth Math’s music. — Marcos Hassan
Death Lens - "Cold World"
Post-hardcore, alt-punk band Death Lens dropped their latest high energy track “Cold World” – along with the announcement of a new album and their recent signing to Epitaph Records. The single explodes with ferocity from the jump, proving just why the self-proclaimed “brown boys from la puente”’s sound, energy, and attitude are catching the attention of the music world at large. With listeners inhabiting a current cold world, the mantra-like lyrics serve as an inspiration to refuel the hope of those who find it lost, backed by infectious vocal harmonies, heavy punk drum beats, and fuzzed shoegaze-leaning guitar melodies. The latest serves an uplifting release that chooses positivity amongst chaos and, despite the odds, journeys the desire to thrive in a deteriorating world, all while making sure there’s no one left behind to come along for the ride. – Jeanette Diaz
InDiazo - “Guámbitos”
Visionary Colombian label In-Correcto is kicking off the year with a slice of impassioned rap, courtesy of Bogotá MC, InDiazo. After eight years of cutting his teeth in the freestyle circuit, the buzzy rapper — who was a standout guest on last year’s Felipe Orjuela LP, El Derroche — is teasing his highly anticipated debut with heart-wrenching single, “Guámbitos.” Delivered in a slurred Rolo drawl, InDiazo oscillates between mournful meditations and sardonic anger as he blows the lid off the precarity and abuse countless Colombian children face on a daily basis. With a beat of grainy cumbia and eery dub echos that ripple through, the track underscores just how easy it is to disrupt the delicate dream of childhood innocence. –Richard Villegas
Tiago PZK, Ke Personajes - “Piel”
Argentinian artist Tiago PZK ended 2023 on a high note by performing on some of the biggest stages, winning awards, and dropping an album. He’s back with the pop-leaning cumbia track “Piel,” with lyrics about spending quality time with a love interest. It’s an intriguing collaboration with Ke Personajes frontman Emanuel Noir. It is a welcome surprise for fans of Tiago PZK since the singer is normally known for R&B and trap hits. In fact, this lead single will provide even more anticipation for his upcoming album, seeing as his adaptability in musical genres is coming into play. — Chelsea Quezada
BENDI LA BENDICIÓN feat. Julio Del Hoyo, LAPERRERA - “CÓDIGO DE ORDEN PÚBLICO (REMIX)”
Back in November of 2023, a new municipal code went into effect in the Puerto Rican capital city of San Juan that effectively forces nightlife to shut down at midnight, much earlier than has been the norm for decades. In response, NYC-based boricua singer-producer BENDI LA BENDICIÓN has teamed up with local rappers Julio Del Hoyo and LAPERRERA for “CÓDIGO DE ORDEN PÚBLICO (REMIX),” bringing back the perreo combativo that became popular during the 2019 protests. The song is both politically-charged and horny as hell — exactly the kind of righteous energy you’d expect from a population raised on reggaeton and pissed off at their government. — Juan J. Arroyo
Mariángela - "Acto Final"
Mariángela is back and over shitty male behavior. With echoing ethereal vocals, an electric guitar, and an alternative upbeat melody, the versatile Mexican artist takes us back to the early 2000s pop-rock wave with “Acto Final.” Full of angst and vulnerability, the singer tells us the story of an ex-boyfriend’s betrayal, giving us a Kudai and early Belinda throwback vibes while at it. “Acto Final” is Mariángela’s focus single from her new 11-track album Sensible, which encompasses a blend of pop, alternative, rock, ballads, and more genres. – Jeanette Hernandez
Raidol - “Imensidão”
Following their celebrated 2022 album Mandinga, Belém do Pará artist Raidol gives us “Imensidão,” a breezy new single just days away from Carnaval. Co-written with Juliana Sinimbú, who released her own version in 2019, “Imensidão” is a delicious jam connecting Baiana music with Amazonian cadence and contemporary production courtesy of Biel Brito, and it’s all about loving fiercely and intensely. Raidol’s heart is on fire for a love interest, and they’re down for anything this romantic adventure brings. – Cheky
Amina Cyu - “Hizo”
Paulina Lasa has been part of the Mexico City underground scene for years, experimenting with different sounds and songwriting styles with bands like Pau y Sus Amigos and Haciendo El Mal. With Amina Cyu, Lasa explores the abstract. As exemplified by “Hizo,” the track flows patiently through ebbing electronics and subtle uses of melody. This ambient song refuses to stay in the background thanks to the emotion emanating from its soundscapes, as each note adds to this piece of music that resounds with such profundity that lyrics are not needed. “Hizo” is a majestic expression of sound as art. — Marcos Hassan
Nicole Zignago - "26 (Ni Tarde, Ni Temprano)"
On “26 (Ni Tarde, Ni Temprano),” singer and songwriter Nicole Zignago tackles the pressure of meeting personal expectations, stripping away any lingering self-doubt through gentle musings. The Peruvian artist’s latest track unfurls like a coming-of-age tale accompanied by spacious acoustic guitar strums and a smooth, sunny chorus. While cameos on earlier singles like “Ella” and “La Ola” took Zignago’s honeyed vocals and soft hooks to the global stage, “26 (Ni Tarde, Ni Temprano)” shows her carving out her own path as a standout and soul-stirring songwriter in the world of contemporary pop. – Nayeli Portillo
juuls - "my dear"
Old school love song meets new age bedroom synth pop in juuls’ latest single, “my dear.” Capturing the essence of pure and loving reassurance, the track sits as a dreamy, serene ballad that rests on its lyrical soul around the desire to make a loved one feel comforted by knowing you are always by their side no matter what. Short, sweet, and simple, this track can be looped on repeat as many times as it takes for the warm embrace of a friend or lover’s admiration to sonically sink in. Although between the soft, lo-fi synth key melodies to the soothing harmonizing vocals, one spin is all it really takes to get swept away by the Texas native’s latest. – Jeanette Diaz