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 Hurray for the Riff Raff, Angel22, and Dawer x Damper. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Hurray for the Riff Raff - “Alibi”
NOLA-based artist Alynda Segarra, better known as Hurray for the Riff Raff, is back with the lead single “Alibi” off their upcoming album, The Past Is Still Alive. While last year’s Life on Earth delved into what the singer-songwriter described as “nature punk” and navigating a socio-political environment in constant collapse, “Alibi” slowly blooms with Segarra’s signature tender, in-depth storytelling style. Segarra embraces the radical mystique of the Wild West and revisits their memories of growing up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side over an ensemble of twangy and delicate guitars to draw up another eloquent and fresh Americana-folk classic. – Nayeli Portillo
Angel22 - “Hello Kitty”
Latine girl group Angel22 dropped a nostalgic diss track reminiscent of Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” “Hello Kitty” is directed at the people who have a lot to say behind your back but can’t say it to your face. The quartet references the cute Japanese character’s lack of mouth as they sing, “Where’s your mouth, sis? / Oh, you silent, bitch?” The track’s confrontational vibe is contradictory to the pastel-colored and precious music video directed by Amber Park. As Angel22 members Alondra, Wendii, Sofia, and Laura enter a new era, they say they “decided to have more fun with the lyrics and show a side that has always existed between [them] as friends, but [they] had never shared with other people.” — Chelsea Quezada
Eyedress feat. The Marías - “Separate Ways”
The Filipino singer-songwriter Eyedress linked up with The Marías for their first collaboration, “Separate Ways.” The new gentle, emotional lofi track features the Puerto Rican-born María Zardoya’s signature soothing vocals in sync with Eyedress’ relaxing and sentimental croons. Together, the duo delivers a sonic burst of tranquility that will ease your nerves and produce endorphins in contrast to the lullaby’s lovelorn lyrics. The overall result? An overdue collaboration that’s worth the hype for both of the artists’ loyal fanbases. – Jeanette Hernandez
Dawer x Damper, Lil Keren, Young Kalifa, MIRACALI - “Bochinche”
Cali is in the building! Cali, Colombia, that is. Incandescent sibling rap duo Dawer X Damper has linked up with rising hometown talents Young Kalifa and Lil Keren – who are also brother and sister – for a late-in-the-year dance floor bombshell aptly titled “Bochinche.” From the resonant organic percussion to the sinewy synth melodies, this is a track designed to get under your skin and catalyze some hot dance floor grinding. Boastful and sexy, the lyrics are as scandalous as the title suggests, with each MC grabbing you by the hips and guiding your every naughty thought. – Richard Villegas
Keysokeys, Auudi, Irania, Kingzy - “FLXR RMX”
Keysokeys seems intent on staking out her corner as Puerto Rico’s indie trap remix queen, first with “Bandida (Remix)” on her debut EP Inmortal, alongside YoSoyJenn and La Faraona, and this week with “FLXR RMX.” The former was a gritty underestimate-me-at-your-own-risk grrrl power anthem for the streets, but in “FLXR,” the highs are different. Now accompanied by Irania, Kingzy, and rapper-turned-cannabis activist Auudi, the bass-heavy love letter to Mary Jane keeps the immaculate swag of the original while adding new flows to make it even more potent. Keys and her buds (pun extremely intended) clearly had a great time making the song and its video, which translates to a track you can enjoy blasting with the windows down (or up, IYKYK). — Juan J. Arroyo
Cash Bently - "Amar Otra Vez"
On his new album, Cash Corridos 3, Cash Bently proves his ability to inhabit the regional Mexican genre effortlessly. “Amar Otra Vez” is a lovely ballad that starts almost like a ‘90s alt-rock radio staple that never was before the guitar strumming gets a bit more intense. As the corridos tumbados affectation gets more pronounced, Bently lets his romantic feelings hang completely. This is not for purists of the genre, but rather, it’s for those who want to hear where the genre can go next in the hands of such a visionary artist. — Marcos Hassan
GUADA - “Tonada de Verano”
Guadalupe Álvarez Luchía gives us a taste of her upcoming new album as GUADA with her single “Tonada de Verano.” It’s a short but intense number that pays homage to Argentine folklore. The artist recovers a traditional baguala song, a genre from Northern Argentina with indigenous roots, and changes the percussion and sole accompaniment with a steady distorted kick drum. This, together with GUADA’s voice and delivery that resemble the grit of a young PJ Harvey, creates a dark ambiance that contrasts with the festive lyrics. – Cheky
Rubby - “Monster”
R&B-meets-electronic upstart Rubby dabbles in dembow rhythms and palpitating EDM on a new remix of “Monster.” While earlier releases like “Confiesa” and “Sink Feel” previewed the singer’s knack for delivering danceable ear candy, “Monster” is colored with more melancholic and experimental hues. Rubby’s voice hovers over a hefty drumbeat and extraterrestrial synths with Brent Faiyaz-esque airy falsettos for an eerie but captivating single that defies a single genre. – Nayeli Portillo
Loyal Lobos - "Tengo Sed"
Off her newest EP LOBA Vol. I, Loyal Lobos released the visual accompaniment to the project’s opener, “Tengo Sed.” The Colombian artist had a hand in producing the track with Evan Voytas and Grammy-nominated duo HoneyBoos. Her signature euphonious reggaeton and pop sound is meshed with cumbia as she sings about craving time with a love interest. The video sees the singer pining while promenading around Paris, France — maybe the most ideal place to feel like that. “Tengo Sed” offers a more carefree energy, with Loyal Lobos adding: “I’m feeling goofier with myself, with my sensuality, with my femininity, and with my presence: This is the song that I want to dance to at a bodega.” — Chelsea Quezada
Coco & Breezy feat. Zak Leever - “There Is A Light”
The twin EDM hitmakers Coco & Breezy teamed up with American songwriter and producer Zak Leever for their uplifting house and dance anthem “There Is A Light.” In this new mesmerizing collaboration, the Afro-Latina producers invoke a pulsing beat, ethereal whispering-like sounds, and hypnotic synths that serve as a sonic mantra to accompany their healing lyrics about waking up the best version of yourself. The spiritual joint track is another testament to Coco & Breezy’s holistic paths that they frequently share with their fans on social media. – Jeanette Hernandez
Laya Kalima - “Buscando Amor?”
The opportunity to explore diverse genres within Latine music has always existed and had artists willing to take up the challenge. However, the new crop of indie talents has run with it in even more exciting ways. Laya Kalima’s newest single “Buscando Amor?” is a pop ballad infused with funk and tropi-soul sound that energizes it even more. Her effervescent vocals, along with the smooth production of duo Smash Hits, coalesce together into a jam that’s an irresistible fresh breath of Caribe air. Laya sings her own praises in the lyrics, and if she continues with output like this, listeners might find themselves in enthusiastic agreement. — Juan J. Arroyo
Luisa Almaguer - "Una Perra"
Mexico City’s Luisa Almaguer has made a name for herself through her powerful yet sentimental music, and “Una Perra” presents the next stage of her evolution. A darkly lit pop song with enough gravitas to pull your soul apart through synths adorning her poignant vocal delivery, “Una Perra” breaks through to another sound thanks to the crafty guitar work that goes from elegant lines to all out shoegaze-inspired swirling fuzz, playing with loud-soft dynamics perfectly. Luisa’s own idiosyncratic vision remains breathtaking, and songs like “Una Perra” underline her deep emotional resonance. — Marcos Hassan
Zuaraz - “Fiaca”
Zuaraz, the Madrid-based band spearheaded by Mexican brothers Santiago and Sebastián Hernández, released their second album Últimamente me acuerdo mucho de tu casa earlier this year, and they’re already back with a brand new one-off single titled “Fiaca.” The breezy, languid pop-rock jam captures the energy of a lazy day with sparse instrumentation, splashes of psychedelia, and a groove that slows our pace down. But its lyrics about procrastination and lack of direction reveal a deeper existential reflection that will resonate with tons of listeners. – Cheky