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 Eix, paopao, and Daniel Villarreal from Dos Santos. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Eix, Dalex, Juhn - “Tour Remix”
The Puerto Rican artist EIX teamed up with Dalex and Juhn for a remix for his sentimental reggaeton track, “Tour.” In the soft perreo collaboration, the three artists talk about the longing for an intimate touch from a special someone. Throughout the music video, we see all three lust over their ideal women, singing lyrics describing how they wouldn’t need anything else if they were to give them a shot. Celebrating on an airplane with champagne in the end, it seems like they all got what they wanted. Okay! – Jeanette Hernandez
Empress Of - “Save Me”
Lorely Rodriguez is back with new Empress Of music, and with a bang. In tune with the club music explorations of her 2020 album I’m Your Empress Of comes “Save Me,” an upbeat number that palpitates with sexual tension. Embellished with live string ornaments and UK club-style vocal samples, Rodriguez steps into a more sensuous light this time around, showing that, in the sex arena, power is something she can hold or surrender as she wishes. – Cheky
paopao, iZaak - "¿qué nos pasó?"
“¿Qué nos pasó?” is the third track of paopao’s latest EP, relaciones tóxicas. The lo-slung single is an odd-tempo reggaeton that allows plenty of space for paopao and iZaak’s blue interpretation, where the Puerto Rican newcomer (and Grammy-awarded) takes advantage of her velveted melodious voice. The beat’s enticingly ethereal textures and displaced snares stress out the bitter taste set by the lyrics, a story of romantic nostalgia left by the imminence of the breakup. — Felipe Maia
Bentley Robles - “i hate the weekend”
Queer Los Angeles-born singer and songwriter Bentley Robles has a lot to get off his chest on his latest track, “i hate the weekend,” the lead single from his forthcoming EP. Channeling el tóxico (what he describes as “a heightened character of his past self”), Robles delivers a series of candid confessions. The song’s premise builds on that messy contradiction of feeling desired and wanted yet also wanting to keep your partner all to yourself in fear of him finding someone new. “i hate the weekend” is a rush of swirling synths and honeyed electro-pop with a chorus that quickly climbs to Robyn-level heights. – Nayeli Portillo
Making Movies - “Sala De Los Pecadores”
There’s a lot of overlap when it comes to rock and cumbia. They’re both rebellious music that makes listeners feel good about their opposition, about society-imposed rules. Making Movies are all about this intersection, making music that makes you move in both directions. “Sala De Los Pecadores” gives the dancing of one genre with the rebellious quality of the other, providing a perfect soundtrack for those who care about the dancefloor as much as those who break the rules. — Marcos Hassan
Alegría Rampante, Chango Menas - “Por Ahora Camino Solo”
Alegría Rampante’s new album Poblado arrives seven years after their acclaimed debut, Se Nos Fue La Mano. This time, they deliver a living art-rock document of the “it takes a village” ethos Puerto Ricans – and artists, in particular – must adopt to survive within colonial precariousness. Keeping this spirit of collectivism in mind, frontman Eduardo Alegría convened an all-star cast of the island’s indie finest, including Sr. Langosta, Mima, Andrea Cruz, Bayoan, and Macha Colón. On singles like “Jirafa,” Alegría is joined by Circo singer Fofé Abreu for a defiant ode to aging and decaying infrastructures, while his deceptively danceable crossover with Los Wálters on “Ciudad Fantasma” is a simultaneous meditation on pandemic isolation and Boricua migrations. Among the newly unveiled crop of tracks, “Por Ahora Camino Solo” stands out as a beacon of grief and ultimate acceptance, pondering the loneliness and frustration of artists trying to create against all odds. More amused than angry, Alegría observes how formulaic reggaeton dominates the land while rock n’ roll languishes in fictitious glory days — a powerful self-indictment defused by pop folkster Chango Menas on a luminous chorus that reassures us everything is always in a state of transition. – Richard Villegas
Ir Sais - “Claramente”
The Bonaire-born, half-Dominican artist Ir Sais just released his newest single, “Claramente.” In the pink and turquoise-hued music video, we are taken through different Bonaire beaches as the multi-platinum artist vocalizes about the ups and downs of a toxic relationship. The piano that shadows the song’s reggaeton beat – also produced by Ir Sais – slows down in specific lyrics, presumably highlighting the depth of his emotions. By singing in his native tongue of Papiamento, the Caribbean-born singer-songwriter brings a new element to the Spanish-speaking Latine music industry. – Jeanette Hernandez
Michl - “Self”
After releasing a string of successful singles since his debut in 2016 and collaborating with Mura Masa and Tove Lo, enigmatic L.A. artist Michl is finally stepping out of the shadows to release his debut album Form Follows Function this June. His newest single, co-produced by Ritt Momney, is an understated pop tune that flourishes with each chorus and functions as a cathartic statement on the hardships of navigating the music industry. He’s ready to take a leap of faith to follow his passion, but it doesn’t mean he’s free of insecurities. – Cheky
Ruben Rojas - "Delirium (Golden Kong Remix)"
A skilled producer with a background in expanding the boundaries of baile funk, Golden Kong now sets his feet on different dancefloors. In this remix, the Brazilian-born, NYC-based artist reshapes Ruben Rojas’ R&B track into a garage drumwork. The bumping bassline bolsters the groovy vocals of the original song, casting pop horizons for both of them and their collective — the Brookly-based Foreign Posse. — Felipe Maia
Ariel & The Culture - “Dizzy”
For Dallas crooner Jason Bobadilla, every release under his buzzy Ariel & The Culture alias is a new chapter transitioning from cookout jam craftsman to seductive club pied piper. A far cry from his wavy 2020 cumbia anthem “Dame Tu Amor,” Bobadilla’s latest comes with the thumping late-night wiles of “Dizzy,” layering indie guitars, sizzling afrobeats, and enough reggaeton swagger to get your head and hips spinning. – Richard Villegas
Daniel Villarreal - "In/On"
There’s a delicate balance between uncharismatic background music and vivid instrumental proes, and Dos Santos member Daniel Villarreal knows exactly where he stands. On the vocal-less “In/On,” he plunges deep into the Amazonian vibe and delivers a cumbia-driven groove that evokes different moods depending on the setting. This song proves that music can give new meaning to feelings we can’t quite nail down. — Marcos Hassan