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 ANGEL22, Esteman, and Captain Planet with Jimena Ángel. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
ANGEL22 - “Celosa”
Following “Olvidar,” ANGEL22 is releasing “Celosa,” a pop track dipped with a touch of rock that immediately takes us back to early 2000s EXA FM-style mainstream radio. Though catchy on the surface, the Latina quartet talks about relatable insecurities that people may experience at the beginning of a wishy-washy relationship in “Celosa.” Through this edgier track, the girls talk about their jealousy-fueled anecdotes, all while delivering a fun throwback pop-rock beat to listen to. – Jeanette Hernandez
Esteman - "Despertar"
After debuting “Despertar” live at Mexico’s Vive Latino festival last month, Esteman is treating fans to the heavenly studio version. Longing to be with someone he’s lost, the Colombian singer desperately hopes they’ll be there when he opens his eyes. The video, directed by Andrés Scaramouche, sees Esteman searching a labyrinth for his person, bringing the sweet song to life. “Despertar” was co-written with Christian Jean of the Mexican duo Reyno, and is the first single off his upcoming album, due later this year. — Chelsea Quezada
Juan Wauters - “Modus Operandi” (feat. Frankie Cosmos)
Uruguayan singer-songwriter Juan Wauters teams up with indie-pop introvert Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos on “Modus Operandi.” In true Juan Wauters fashion, he weaves back and forth between whimsy observations and philosophical banter beside Kline’s sweet, silvery vocals. Despite the sunny essence and jaunty fingerpicked riff that propels “Modus Operandi,” there is an ingeniously subtle jab at New York gentrifiers who flee at the first sign of any minor inconvenience: “But it’s happened time and time again/that when it gets rough out here/people that have options go back to their suburbs/To them this was just like some kind of Disney World/some kind of commodity.” – Nayeli Portillo
Víctor Blue, Viviana - “Se fue con el viento”
Víctor Blue is a Puerto Rican alt-pop/rock musician-at-large who has worked alongside some of the hottest indie acts from the island as producer and bassist. For his new single, “Se fue con el viento,” he teams up with fellow west coaster Viviana for a surprisingly chipper song about letting go of your love. The track is a cornucopia of pop, surf rock, psychedelia, and a dash of Britrock that moves along briskly thanks to Viviana’s lively vocals and Víctor’s deft instrumentals. It’s further evidence that the rock and pop scene in Puerto Rico is growing and fruitful, and not to be overlooked. — Juan J. Arroyo
Midwife, Vyva Melinkolya - "Miss America"
Everything about “Miss America” is about the vibe and how it can morph to make you feel different feelings as it goes along while being very subtle about it. Madeline Johnston and Angel Diaz thread a dreamy and ethereal sound, with all whispered vocals and slow-building textures that take subtle turns into nightmarish soundscapes and back to heavenly feelings. “Miss America” should be played loudly and repeatedly to let the sound wash over the listener and allow new sounds to bloom with each listen. — Marcos Hassan
Paola Navarrete - “Cómplices”
For years, pop chanteuse Paola Navarrete has unspooled her inner world of love and family over gauzy productions, cementing her as one of Ecuador’s most compelling and cinematic storytellers. With her latest single, “Complices,” Navarrete examines the unbreakable bond between sisters, canvasing the winks and subtextual gestures that make up the unique language between siblings. The song is the first tease off her forthcoming third LP Aries, produced by Franco-Mexican-Chilean hitmaker Adan Jodorowsky, and already hinting at a bouncy, groovy sound designed for swaying and daydreaming. – Richard Villegas
YADAM - “Ojalá”
As previously proven in his singles “Otras Mujeres” and “Nada Es Seguro,” YADAM sure knows how to use a build-up as an emotional device. The Paris-based Venezuelan-American artist just shared “Ojalá,” the third preview of his upcoming debut album Belamor, and it’s a heart-wrenching cry for forgiveness that turns into a melancholic dance party. YADAM owns his wrongdoings in a relationship, and although it might be too late, he still tries to piece together his lover’s trust like broken glass. – Cheky
Ir Sais - “Urau”
The Bonaire artist Ir Sais dropped his newest single, “Urau.” With sprinkled-in acoustic guitar plucks, enticing piano chords, and a Caribbean beat, he created a new sound in sync with his native Bonairian sounds. Lyrically, the new track describes a confident woman who wants to be close to the person she’s into but shies away from defining the relationship—all in his native language Papiamentu. Overall, each component makes him an interesting and global artist to look out for. – Jeanette Hernandez
Captain Planet & Jimena Ángel - “Pambelé”
L.A.-based DJ Captain Planet and Colombian pop singer Jimena Ángel unite on “Pambelé” to honor the famed boxer of the same name. Since both artists have an affinity for meshing pop, reggae, and Caribbean genres, the collaboration makes perfect sense. The tropical song features a zestful horn section and is fit for a scrimmage around the ring, which Ángel takes for a spin in the music video. Shot and directed by Guillermo Camacho, it was filmed at the Anibal Gonzalez boxing gym in Cartagena, known as the first Colombian gym to train female boxers. Look closely and you’ll even see a little ofrenda for the real Pambelé. — Chelsea Quezada
Zuco 103 - “Postcard”
Brazilectro and tropical bass groundbreakers Zuco 103 are back with a new single off their latest album Telenovela, the follow-up to 2019’s Tripicalismo. For over 20 years, singer Lilian Vieira, drummer Stefan Kruger, and keyboardist Stefan Schmid have been fusing the percussion-heavy layers of Brazilian samba and bossa nova with mellowed-out jazz instrumentals and uptempo dance-pop. A bouncy funk bassline and Vieira’s airy vocals set “Postcard” into motion as the singer reflects on appreciating “what you have in abundance” and homeland pride. – Nayeli Portillo
MAVICA - “you could never do that”
Spanish singer-songwriter MAVICA’s new single, “you could never do that,” was born from reflecting on her childhood memories of ballet training and her station now as an adult and artist navigating a music industry that consistently sexualizes women and their bodies. As her ethereal voice weaves around the melody, it’s easy to envision the lyrics being carried in a dance by the beat, projecting the message of agency and autonomy via movement. For MAVICA, this song is her way of expressing that women’s bodies are theirs and no one else’s. As she underlines in the song, “It’s what we fight for.” — Juan J. Arroyo
The Linda Lindas - "Too Many Things"
In the short time in the spotlight, the girls of The Linda Lindas have become a beacon of great rock music in recent memory, and songs like “Too Many Things” make it clear why. With chugging guitars, a head-bobbing rhythm, and catchy-as-hell melodies, this four-piece knows how to rock out effortlessly and communicate a spirit of abandon with ease. This ode to feeling overwhelmed also synthesizes their amazing talent for expressing common annoyances anyone can experience but probably can’t put it so succinctly and set it all to kickass music. “Too Many Things” begs to be sung along at the top of one’s lungs. — Marcos Hassan
Armenia, Volcán - “Otro Lugar”
Dust off your first-generation Playstation and boot up the oldest copy of Tony Hawk Pro Skater that you can find because Colombian rockers Armenia and Volcán just teamed up for “Otro Lugar,” a shot of skate-punk adrenaline aimed straight at our nostalgic Y2K hearts. Pounding and euphoric, the track burns with longing for that moment in our lives when we felt unstoppable, eventually landing on the devastating conclusion that dreaming of the past is delusional and fruitless. Trudge on, fight on. – Richard Villegas
Blanco Teta - “Hoy No”
Fiery Argentine quartet Blanco Teta stands in a blurry area between punk and noise rock, but they can flip the script at the drop of a hat, as they show in their exhilarating new single “Hoy No,” off its forthcoming debut full-length Rompe Paga. Featuring thunderous drumming, switching time signatures, hyperpop-nodding vocals, and a whole lot of distortion, “Hoy No” is a song for those days when, for whatever reason, you just want to set your boundaries and be left the hell alone. – Cheky