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 Brytiago, The Change, and Eix. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Brytiago - "Kali"
From the opening sample of squeaking springs that soon integrate themselves seamlessly into the beat, it’s clear that this Puerto Rican singer has one thing in mind for a good time. Brytiago invokes neon lights and seedy clubs in this pean to getting fucked over in each and every way imaginable. “Kali” gives us bone-rattling bass, nocturnal rhythms, and minimalist instrumentation to let the sensual and illicit vibes take over your bad side and let you get down with your bad side. – Marcos Hassan
Eix, Beele - “Cuando Te Veo”
Summer is officially here, says the calendar and several wannabe-hits popping on YouTube. “Cuando te Veo” is a heavyweight contender to the dispute. The song by Eix and Beele is Latine-made afrobeats with easy listening melodies and a catchy beat. But the track’s special power rests in the dance-along music video: it’s safe to say the moves by the Puerto-Rican and Colombian duo will be soon on your TikTok timeline. — Felipe Maia
The Change feat. Kiko el Crazy, Luciano - "Ibiza"
Starting with a futuristic electronic sound, “Ibiza” by the Dominican multi-faceted artist Carmen Cambiaso, better known as The Change, takes us on a rhythmic sonic journey featuring D.R.’s Kiko el Crazy and the Swiss-Chilean DJ Luciano. Together, the trio executed a feel-good track highlighting The Change’s smooth vocals paired with Kiko el Crazy’s unmatched signature flow. Experimenting with a mesh of different sounds, the result of “Ibiza” appears to be a new chapter for the artists, proving that they’re more than capable of delivering a solid hit — regardless of the genre. – Jeanette Hernandez
Divino Niño - “Tu Tonto”
The Chicago-via-Bogotá band Divino Niño is in full swing with a new era and a new sense of style with their first new album in three years, Last Spa On Earth. With the release set for Sep. 23, the band’s highly energized lead single is out for the world to get a taste of what’s to come, and “Tu Tonto” hits the sweet spot perfectly. Inspired by the intricate rhythms of neoperreo, the subgenre forming life into reggaeton itself is equally danceable yet still holds the neo-psychedelic attitude Divino Niño has been well known for through the years. “‘Tu Tonto’ is about being infatuated with someone so much that you lose all logical sense, going to any extreme to make this person feel special and healed,” the band says about the newest track. “It’s about ‘becoming the spa’ to bring balance to someone whom you care deeply about. In the music video, our ‘spa’ experience contains both serene energy (symbolized by the heart-shaped hot tub) and chaotic energy (symbolized by the skull fountain head) to bring a complete, yin yang, cathartic release to this special person.” Although we still have some time before the record drops, you can listen to “Tu Tonto” in the meantime. — Holly Alvarado
Lil JouJou, Joyce Santana, Chucky73, Hozwal, Rvsell - “Top Now (Remix)”
Call it a trap team-up: Lil’ JouJou remixes “Top Now” off his debut EP, Soñando en PR, and invites a bevy of up & coming firestarters like Joyce Santana, Hozwal, and Rvsell along with newly-heralded Bronx legend Chucky73 to elevate an already crackin’ song. Everyone lending bars had a heady 2021, which almost certainly gave them even more impetus to let their muse loose on this boast track that celebrates their rapid rise. JouJou himself has been laying the groundwork for a strong run at being one of the next big names in Latine trap, and collabs like this one can only help in the eyes and ears of fans of the genre. — Juan J. Arroyo
Diamante Eléctrico - “Colibrí”
The transformation of Diamante Eléctrico continues. Following their delightfully groovy 2021 album Mira Lo Que Me Hiciste Hacer and recent singles “4 del 20” and “Daniboy,” striking a more serious tone, the beloved Colombian rock band is returning to their romantic inklings on brand new single “Colibrí.” The Mexico City-based raconteurs found inspiration in Aztec mythology, where colibris (Spanish for hummingbirds) represent the resurrection of fallen warriors; a colorful, whimsical metaphor that parallels the ebb and flow of every relationship. – Richard Villegas
Lara Project - “Control”
Venezuelan brothers and Bad Bunny collaborators Manuel and Felix Lara are back with a brand-new Lara Project single that follows the retro aesthetics of their recent releases — this time injecting a whole lot of hope and joy into their moody sound. On “Control,” they turn to upbeat, disco-referencing pop production, with singer Felix wanting to overcome current problems (vices, bad relationships) and reset his life, praying things can go back to how they used to be. Let’s dance to new beginnings. – Cheky
Debit x Koreless - “Black Rainbow” (Tribal Bootleg)
N.A.A.FI.’s massive mixtape of bootlegs, edits, and odd ends Pirata 5 is loaded with pop music — both nostalgic and current — mangled into delightful dancefloor mutations. Buried deep in its tracklist is this elegant version of this Koreless track by New York-via-Monterrey producer Debit, who makes a return to rave-ready beats after exploring Prehispanic drones. Using tribal guarachero’s triplet feel in a subtle way, “Black Rainbow” is propelled by a massive four-on-the-floor kick drum, arpeggiated synths, and stuttering electronics, resulting in an ecstatic excuse for dancing. – Marcos Hassan
Juçara Marçal - “Onda feat. Jadsa”
Juçara Marçal and Jadsa are two of the greatest singer-songwriters in Brazil’s contemporary MPB. Despite an apparent generation gap in their careers — Juçara started singing in the 1990s and Jadsa was born in 1995 — both artists share a creative space where sonic elements can bloom out of persistent claps, fuzzy noises, weaving bass lines, and complex and elegant lyrics. “Um Choro” flows within this imagery in a never-ending cycle, as Juçara points out in her melodious vocals: I’ll always be a wave. — Felipe Maia
VALE - "Agradezco Cada Paso"
The Colombian sister duo Valentina and Valeria released “Agradezco Cada Paso,” a song that encapsulates genuine gratitude. The acoustic song celebrates life and connects people through its music – which from the start does wonderfully. It starts with the duo’s pristine vocals that invites the listener to a safe space through reassuring and resonating lyrics that describe life’s challenges and the optimism of getting past them. The chorus then enthralls the listener as the two harmonize and deliver a song full of sunshine – something we all need these days. – Jeanette Hernandez
Omar Andino, Mark B - “Another Night”
The Dominican artists Omar Andino and Mark B are arriving with a long-awaited Latine debut, a collaboration that both artists have been looking forward to for quite some. To start it off, they give us “Another Night.” The effortless combination of Mark B’s captivating voice and Andino’s distinct production style results in a catchy new single, one you can’t help but pour a glass of wine to as you spin around the kitchen hall. The almost four-minute song combines English and Spanish to narrate the desire to have one more passionate night with a distant lover, with an infectious EDM-pop beat that still gives way for Mark B’s tenor voice to soar through with intimate lyricism. Overall, it invites us to question our thoughts under the aggravation we suffer. And in the end, it’s all due to love anyway. — Holly Alvarado
Rob Ram - “Gravedad”
If anything can be gleaned from Rob Ram’s previous output, “Velocidad” and “El Tiempo,” it’s that he traffics in the kind of song that ponders the ephemeral qualities of those nagging feelings that often wrack our hearts and minds. With his new single “Gravedad,” Rob stays within the indie dream-pop wheelhouse he’s made his own and pulls you closer to his lyrical musings about the why of it all. Revealing in the titles an increasingly clear pattern to his tracks, his music slowly builds a thesis about life that might not offer any definitive answers but will make questioning them an all-the-more chill endeavor. — Juan J. Arroyo
Las Dianas - “No Controles”
Just in time for Pride, Spanish guitar-pop outfit Las Dianas are dropping a special cassette double single that captures their unapologetically queer humor and effervescent knack for ear-catching references. Accompanying “Hetero,” a standout cut from their 2021 debut LP Lo Que Te Pide El Cuerpo, the group also recorded a raucous new cover of Olé Olé’s classic empowerment anthem, “No Controles.” While the song was originally written by Mecano’s Nacho Cano and made an even bigger international sensation by Mexican pop trio Flans, Las Diana’s spin on the iconic track is as spirited as the original, if a bit more likely to spark a mosh pit. – Richard Villegas
Jessie Reyez - “FRAUD”
“Hands high if you’ve loved somebody who don’t love you back,” commands Colombian-Canadian artist Jessie Reyez on “FRAUD,” her first solo single in two years, and our hands are high indeed. The R&B jam finds Reyez as candid as ever, going into full-on, take-no-prisoners mode as she blasts a former boyfriend down to dust for being a disloyal fraud. The song’s music video, which is also Reyez’s directorial debut alongside Emma Higgins, is a stunning, bold portrait of the breaking of the unrequited love cycle. – Cheky
Circle the Earth - “Sweetest Pain”
When Circle the Earth first came to fruition, its principle was simple and straightforward: emphasize the power of difference in order to create music that everyone around them could vibe out to. Over the last few years, members of the Los Angeles quintet, who hail from different corners of the U.S. and the globe (Maryland, Atlanta, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan), have been synthesizing the stylings of fiery pop anthems with everything from shred-heavy hard rock and emo to hip-hop in a manner that’s sure to energize the masses at first listen. On the “Sweetest Pain,” frontwoman Khadia takes the turmoil of a fading romance and belts it out across a cathartic, shout-along-worthy chorus boosted with gritty guitar hooks. – Nayeli Portillo
St. Aldo – “Comet Tail”
Dark with sci-fi and punk influences, “Comet Tail” by the electronic indie Brazilian duo St. Aldo draws influence from the dreaded story of the religious cult Heaven’s Gate from the U.S. While the track could have been the theme for a movie about an ‘80s cult leader, it’s still original enough that it sounds like a contemporary soundtrack of what it is like to live in the cosmopolitan yet decaying city of São Paulo, with its haunting vocals and the looming dark synths. It is one of the best tracks of their new album Esther Building. – Gabriel Leão