This is our weekly compilation of newly released bite-sized song reviews from 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 Alex Anwandter, Conexión Divina, and Moreno ITF. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Alex Anwandter - "Maricoteca"
Chilean singer-songwriter and composer Alex Anwandter captivates us with the steamy and dark decadence of an all-night, queer discotheque on “Maricoteca.” It’s his first single since 2019. Back in March, musical trailblazer Julieta Venegas revealed that the lauded electropop artist spearheaded the production of her highly-anticipated upcoming album Tu Historia, which promptly sent the internet into a frenzy. Drenched in glittery-synth glitches and booming distorted bass, “Maricoteca” reeinvisions the debauchery-ridden dancefloor as a place of complete freedom, with just one caveat, of course: “No busques a tu mamá/Que aqui nadie te va a salvar.” — Nayeli Portillo
Moreno ITF - “RUFF”
When we last saw Moreno ITF, the charismatic Bronx-based Dominican rising drill star, it was towards the end of the music video for his previous track, “Berkin.” He’s leaving an epic house party and receives a foreboding call from an unidentified woman. This week he drops his new single, “RUFF,” which continues the storyline both in the lyrics and returning director DnyLugo’s accompanying music video. This time around, Moreno pivots into a self-described gangster love story where he tries to soothe his partner’s discontent while also rekindling passions with his bravado. It’s an energizing thematic B-side that manages to link the liveliness between both songs. — Juan J. Arroyo
El Mató a un Policía Motorizado - “Tantas Cosas Buenas”
Argentine rock juggernauts El Mató a un Policía Motorizado are two dates away from wrapping up their year-long world tour, and they’re putting the icing on the cake with the new song, “Tantas Cosas Buenas.” It’s a rare twist in their discography that finds them in new wave territory, dialing down the distorted guitars and turning up the synths and a swinging Tears for Fear-esque rhythm. The world is crumbling down, and singer Santiago Motorizado knows it, as he laments the loss of many good things. But in the middle of his resignation, feeling like there’s nothing else to lose, he finds hope to make a change. – Cheky
Vivi Rincon - “angela”
What happens when what was once love turns into something bitter? Following her latest release, “can’t breathe,” the emerging queer Mexican-Venezuelan singer-songwriter Vivi Rincon dropped “angela.” The edgy teenage-angst-like indie track tells the story of feeling resentment and desiring bad omens after the red-tinted glasses come off. The blunt lyrics are towards her ex-partner’s new love, which gives us Olivia Rodrigo vibes – without any type of sugarcoating. – Jeanette Hernandez
Neoma - “Running Up That Hill”
Let’s keep it real: the song of 2022 dropped all the way back in 1985. This past summer, when the revival of Kate Bush’s trailblazing synthpop torch song “Running Up That Hill” took over the world, countless covers, remixes, and karaoke belting sessions flooded social media with euphoric glee. Enter Ecuadorian pop pixie Neoma, whose spin on the track reimagines Bush’s burning emotional epic as a sadgirl perreo anthem. Neoma echoes the song’s ubiquitous synth stabs throughout, layering in lurching reggaeton drums perfect for dropping ass and tears all over the dance floor. – Richard Villegas
Salt Ashes - “No Lo Vi Venir”
Halloween is over yet — London-based singer Veiga Sanchez is here for your dark dancefloor anthems. “No Lo Vi Venir” is her first song in (mostly) Spanish and serves as a perfect balance between light and darkness, with verses luring you in before exploding in a disco-infused chorus. Sanchez and producer Dimitri Tikovoi manage to channel Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue in their prime for a tune spooky enough to save for next Halloween but catchy enough to play any weekend. — Marcos Hassan
Tribilin Sound - “Bilongo Con Sandunga (Tayhana Remix)”
One of the digital cumbia founders, Peru’s Tribilin Sound, is revisited by several Latin American artists in Jalea Mixta. The album spotlight goes to producer Tayhana and her take on “Bilongo Con Sandunga.” Known for her broken tempo club music, an unorthodox approach that led her to work with the likes of Rosalía in “CUUUUuuuute,” the Argentinian artist concocted a dark, twisted post-cumbia for this remix. The sped-up baseline sets the pace of a tribal frantic rave — turns out, stomping your feet while listening to this song is completely normal. — Felipe Maia
Chicocurlyhead - "CHEAP WINE"
John Farrish, aka Chicocurlyhead, jokes that he doesn’t have to be rich in order to pop bottles and have a good time. While the Atlanta-raised Panamanian R&B singer remains modest about it, he knows his sincerity and suave Spanglish flow go a long way. Farrish first made waves with the bubbly single “Modelo,” and it wasn’t long before he began landing gigs opening for Tiago PZK and joining the star-studded roster for this year’s Austin City Limits Festival. On “CHEAP WINE,” the singer explores sleek, pop-tinted stylings in the form of an irresistibly hummable chorus and effervescent melody. — Nayeli Portillo
DiAnE - “ErOtiCa”
With an ethereal voice that sounds like a siren call from deep space, Puerto Rican songstress DiAnE has been slowly coming out with mesmerizing dreampop that stands out as unique for its airy sonic approach. On previous tracks “OTrA VeZz” and “RiCaa,” she engaged with the thin line between flirtation and seduction. She revisits this with today’s sensual “ErOtiCa.” It’s a continuation of her distinctive musical proposition and one with few immediate comparisons — shoegaze but with the verve and lyrical raciness that comes from being raised in the reggaetón capital. — Juan J. Arroyo
YADAM - “Otras Mujeres”
Paris-based Venezuelan-American newcomer YADAM joined forces with songwriter Samuel Dixon (Adele, Christina Aguilera) to give us the first single from his forthcoming debut album, Belamor. “Otras Mujeres” is a queer tale of love and secrets with a Spanish flare, which was inspired by the experience of being told to be “discreet” the first time he fell in love with a boy at 17. Amongst handclaps and classical guitars, YADAM’s delivery goes from a whisper to an intense catharsis, and even though his words are bitter, his message is empowering: don’t give up the power of who you love and how you’re loved back. – Cheky
Conexión Divina - “Se Rumora”
With the release of their debut EP Inercia, the Gen Z all-female group Conexión Divina unveiled a new track and music video for “Se Rumora.” The acoustic guitar-led track is about recognizing life’s ups and downs yet cherishing them in order to move forward. The new visuals follow the trio in the desert landscape of Santa Clarita, CA, which unexpectedly gives us a nostalgic longing for the beautiful deserts of Mexico. Not only that, but the up-and-coming trio also gives us a fresh femme face – with a distinguished deep vocal range – to challenge today’s male-dominated sierreño game. We love to see the switch up. – Jeanette Hernandez
FERMIN - “Mañana es Peor”
Argentine producer FERMIN is on a roll. Following major acclaim for his boundary-pushing production work on Dillom’s blockbuster Post Mortem LP, the studio whiz returns to his electro-pop roots on a brand new EP titled Mañana es Peor 🙁. The soaring title track refracts bummer existentialism through disco ball madness, throbbing to the sound of tambourines, whizzing synths, unrelenting bass lines, and FERMIN’s own delightful pop harmonies. –Richard Villegas
isomonstrosity - “Take Me Back ft. Empress Of and Bryce Dessner"
We’re used to listening to Empress Of over sad yet danceable beats, which always work like a charm. However, her collaboration with the avant-pop trio isomonstrosity sees her lend her earnest and melodic voice to a track that revolves around looping piano arpeggios and moody electronics, thanks partly to The National’s Bryce Dessner lending a hand to the track. “Take Me Back” functions like a piece of unconventional film score, daring yet full of emotion that defies what a pop song can be. — Marcos Hassan
Tuyo - “Ela Sorriu Pra Mim”
Brazilian band Tuyo’s latest EP, Depois da Festa, is a relieving breath of creative music craft. With no more than four tracks, the Grammy nominated trio encompasses a bittersweet blend of languid harmonies, ethereal textures, and neosoul beats. “Ela Sorriu Pra Mim” opens the four-track EP with a catchy baile funk (or candomblé’s ramunha) percussion set backed up by soothing guitar lines. An airy atmosphere involves this complex yet minimal structure while singers Lay Machado and Lio wander in their own melody. As the EP, the track is a good preview of the group’s potential next album. — Felipe Maia