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 Gepe and Esteman, Justin Quiles, and Caloncho. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Gepe & Esteman - “Ansiedá”
Chilean folk meets indie pop extraordinaire Gepe clashes with haunting contritions and enlists Bogotá singer-songwriter Esteman on “ANSIEDÁ,” what he describes as a narrative about “regret and self-evaluation.” The duo croons over gentle, scintillating acoustic riffs and a warm cuatro in the melancholic but shining single that circles back to the stripped-down deeper cuts off of fan-favorite albums like Audiovisión and Gepinto. Chromatic magical realism and dazzling nostalgic visuals take center stage in the track’s accompanying music video directed by Chilean filmmaker Bernardo Quesney. – Nayeli Portillo
Rafa Pabön, Chimbala, Bulova - “Qué Swing”
Party anthems always have a spot on our playlist, but horny party anthems get queued up at the right moment to blow up just as things start to get hot. Rafa Pabön is to provide the right temperature dosage when things get steamy at the function. “Qué Swing” is punctuated by a four-on-the-floor kick and lascivious wordplay from Chimbala, Bulova, and the host himself, giving it a devilish attitude to the whole track. “Qué Swing” is here to remind us that dirty perreo is the only way to get down. — Marcos Hassan
Florentino Feat. BAMBII & KD One - “Constrictor”
Starting with a distinctive bubblegum-like trait that gets your attention from the start, “Constrictor” is the latest global mix that combines the best sound elements of the artists’ native countries. On this club floor-ready number, the Manchester-Colombian DJ Florentino features dancehall artist Bambii’s luscious vocals and Dominican rapper KD One’s flow, a combination that executes perfectly with the melody’s bass-heavy elements meshed with UK’s emblematic club sounds. The result? Your new go-to song to play at your next underground perreo. – Jeanette Hernandez
Justin Quiles - "Fuego Forestal"
Reggaeton meets a fiery, rebellious spirit on “Fuego Forestal” by Puerto Rican artist Justin Quiles. A slow-tempo reggaeton beat turns up the heat with its seductive-based lyrics as it recounts the intoxicating essence of a love interest who broken through societal expectations that move her from a conventional good girl to an independent free spirit. This one’s for the bad girls you can’t get off your mind, and Quiles is here to make sure they have a soundtrack to have fun on the dance floor while staying there. – Jeanette Diaz
Kumbia Queers - “Delivery de Vino”
Hip-shaking Argentinian provocateurs Kumbia Queers have been plotting a return to the stage for some time, with “Delivery de Vino” arriving as the fourth preview of their upcoming album Fiesteria. Conceived in the pandemic, cumbiatón paranoia reigns supreme here. Even in the Marcelo Enríquez-directed music video, where singer Juana Chang roams around her neighborhood in pajamas and slippers in search of any tasty beverage that will help her drown her apocalyptic sorrows. — Richard Villegas
A-Wall - “Solo”
Texas native A-Wall, real name Aaron Paredes, got thrust into the limelight last year when his song “Loverboy” went viral, catching on with TikTok users and stacking up more than 174 million Spotify streams. Now he’s readying a new album, Autopilot, and the new single “Solo” shows off the kind of sound fans can expect going forward. A-Wall got his start with bedroom pop, and the natural escalation since those days is evident in the track, with the added touch of riffs and synths backing up the melancholic lyrics. The song’s title equates being alone (“solo”) with being in the dumps (“so low”), and the music video takes full advantage of the setting and scenery to sell that sentiment. — Juan J. Arroyo
Mabe Fratti - “Cada Músculo”
With her newest single, “Cada Músculo,” Guatemalan artist and composer Mabe Fratti has just announced her third album Se Ve Desde Aquí, which follows last year’s acclaimed Será Que Ahora Podremos Entendernos. With accessible, emotionally-charged vocal melodies and noisier instrumentation comprising strings and synths, every single element on “Cada Músculo” falls into place as Fratti reflects on the way places and spaces we experience become a part of us, ultimately transforming us. The song’s ambient outro gives us room to let her words sink in and just feel. – Cheky
L7nnon & Tion Wayne - "Kim N Kanye"
From Brazil to the UK, from the favelas to the ends, “Kim N Kanye” is a meetup featuring drill best-sellers from the two sides of the Atlantic. Out of Rio, L7nnon comes up with a few bars, no more than what’s needed for him to keep steadily towards the top of the Brazilian rap game, now aiming at a global audience. Tion Wayne delivers his versatile flow menu, shifting from nice hooks to elating bridges, doubling up metrics, and slowing the pace before the kicks. Even if it gets lost among the unstoppable drill wave, the track is a hallmark for both MCs. — Felipe Maia
Daniela Lalita - "No Para"
Alternate reality games and the stark, sub-zero volcanic landscape of Peru’s Mirador de los Andes are the sources of inspiration behind electronic artist Daniela Lalita’s new single. “No Para” is the latest song from her forthcoming debut EP, Trececerotres, out Sep. 16. The New York-based Peruvian artist’s celestial vocals intensify over a creeping Buchla-backed instrumental as swells of a medieval-like choir fill the spaces in between. Although Lalita’s voice may take the lead, her impulse to continue to work and think like a composer is crystal clear: every climb in “No Para” is excitingly unpredictable. – Nayeli Portillo
Daniele Luppi, Greg Gonzalez - "The Rose You Kept"
Italian composer Daniele Luppi is known for collaborating with indie musicians for exciting yet unexpected results, as well as for his work on film scores. His collaboration with Cigarettes After Sex’s singer Greg González exemplifies his approach, giving González a ballad perfect for his tenor to deliver a whispered melody while building an arrangement on strings and electronics, achieving a bridge between his two modes of operation. The result is something of a melancholic yet whimsical ride, ready to deliver imaginary visuals to listeners who are in the mood for a good cry. — Marcos Hassan
Tita Feat. Katzù Oso - “Mundo Cruel”
The Guatemala-based singer-songwriter Tita released her experimental debut album Mundo Cruel blending hyper-pop, psychedelic rock, and indie alternative. On the album’s title track, “Mundo Cruel” featuring Katzù Oso, she embodies a dreamy-like soundscape with glimmering synths backed by a groovy bass guitar that harmoniously fit with the duo’s verses. It’s a feel-good track full of hope – especially as the words reassure you that even if it’s a cruel world, there’s still sweetness that we can indulge in. – Jeanette Hernandez
Caloncho, Sabino “Bien del Puerco”
Mexican power duo collaboration, singer-songwriter Calocho and San-hop rapper Sabino feed us a new single “Bien del Puerco,” a full course serenading love song. A play on words from a spanish phrase to describe a post-gratifying meal induced dream state, the lyricism waxes poetic where sensual meets food play with lighthearted and mellow pop ease to name all the delicious and satisfying ways a good love can leave you feeling. – Jeanette Diaz
Perdido - “Bolos E Doces E Milkshakes”
Brazilian singer-songwriter Perdido has unveiled a brand new self-titled album that brings his delightfully baroque folk-pop to syrupy new heights. Crooners such as Tiê, Nana, and Teago Oliveira join Perdido throughout the album’s dreamy run, yet his rustic, artisanal approach to songwriting is at its best in the most intimate moments. “Bolos E Doces E Milkshakes” unfolds with cinematic grace, reminiscing on glory days passed and searching for idyllic parallels in the mirage of vintage Americana over luscious strings and the faintest whiff of country music. – Richard Villegas
Moreno ITF - “Berkin”
Drill is having its biggest moment yet, having cemented itself as one of the most currently dominant subgenres of hip-hop in a decade. And the crossover with Latine artists has already begun in earnest, as Moreno ITF has proven this past year. The Dominican-born, Bronx-based rapper has been releasing a steady stream of raucous bangers, and this week adds “Berkin” to his repertoire. Moreno’s dynamite delivery is explosive and mile-a-minute, and the accompanying music video by seasoned director DNY Lugo captures why drill is catching on so much — the mix of attitude, confidence, camaraderie, and party that Moreno calls his “gangoso” lifestyle. — Juan J. Arroyo
Lucrecia Dalt - “Dicen”
Colombia’s Lucrecia Dalt just dropped her new track “Dicen” as the latest single from ¡Ay!, her awaited upcoming album on RVNG Intl, and it’s an immersive extraterrestrial bolero we can vibe to. In line with her two previous singles “No tiempo” and “Atemporal,” Dalt recurs to her immaculate use of space and a few instruments to add to the story of Preta, the alien persona she embodies on the album. Upon her arrival to Earth, her presence is already the talk of the town, with a third person engaging in some light chisme to share how Preta behaves. – Cheky
Russo Passapusso, Antonio Carlos & Jocafi part. Gilberto Gil - "Mirê Mirê"
A household in today’s Bahia’s music and the author of several releases bridging Jamaica, Africa, and Brazil, Russo Passapusso also has a knack for drafting great players for his studio sessions. In this one, he pulled out a collab with Gilberto Gil and the duo Antonio Carlos & Jocafi. The former needs no introductions whilst the latter has helped shape the afro-samba branch. The final job is an upbeat ijexá led by Gil’s sweet vocals and a polyrhythmic hoodoo that features carefree claps and even West African talking drums.— Felipe Maia