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 Isabella Lovestory, Feid, and Pavlo. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Isabella Lovestory - “Fashion Freak”
There are few daydreams as satisfying as pounding the pavement like it’s the Balenciaga haute couture runway at Paris Fashion Week. Capturing the full runway-in-my-street-clothes fantasy, reggaetonera Isabella Lovestory has released a new single, “Fashion Freak,” which balances elegance and friskiness with culo-shaking panache. The bumping perreo was co-produced by Chicken and Nick León, who frame Lovestory’s nimble bars in devilishly club-friendly kicks and a pinch of chiptune quirkiness. – Richard Villegas
Natan Y Shander, Feid, Ryan Castro, Totoy El Frio - “VIP”
Summer isn’t over yet. The Colombian duo Natan & Shander’s hard-hitting new reggaeton song “VIP” delivers a hypnotic beat fit for each artist’s distinctive flows. Not only does Feid’s melodic vocals shine through, but Totoy El Frio and Ryan Castro also bring in a different cadence element that make the Sky Rompiendo-track enjoyable from start to finish. What a strong reggaeton collaboration to end the month with! – Jeanette Hernandez
Pavlo - "lo que queda después del amor"
Last year, indie singer-songwriter Pavlo released EL ETERNO RETORNO, an impressive debut album that alternated between ambient electro-pop and more intimate acoustic melodies to recount the devastation of his first heartbreak. On the ruminative torch song “lo que queda después del amor,” he reflects on the bittersweetness of knowing that it’s all over through a soulful performance full of halting choruses and melancholic piano swells. Despite the song’s harrowing nature, the Medellín native still sounds clear and centered as he pulls himself from the wreckage. – Nayeli Portillo
Nester x MELLOWAVES - “x su respaldo”
After a debut EP last summer and recent joint efforts such as “No Tire Foto” with Los Rarxs and “Guaracha” with Jon Z, Nester releases a solo track that pulls double duty as both a hat-tip to his fans and a self-reflective appreciation of his nascent career’s recent upward trajectory. Producer MELLOWAVES, coming off his own collaboration with Los Rarxs on their new LP La Rareza, imbues the track with a catchy melody that makes Nester’s humble brag eminently replayable. With an infectious delivery and clever bars, Nester elevates “x su respaldo” above simply patting himself on the back and makes a strong case for guaranteeing the best is yet to come for him. — Juan J. Arroyo
Salvatore Vitale - “No Hables De Mi”
Mexican singer-songwriter Salvatore Vitale might have spent his formative years playing with emotional hardcore heroes Hummersqueal, but his solo project indulges in a whole different approach to making art that resonates at the core of any human being. “No Hables De Mi” is a great example of Vitale’s take on goth rock that owes as much to electrified folk as it does to vintage pop, giving us a brooding yet sentimental feeling that’s as catchy as it is atmospheric. A head-nodding rhythm, ‘80s synths, and Vitale’s baritone crooning make for an irresistible combination. — Marcos Hassan
Kamau - “Aparte”
One of the most essential figures in São Paulo’s 2000s rap, Brazilian rapper Kamau released a new album last Jan. after a seven-year hiatus. His comeback is now followed by a warm and captivating single, a collab with some of the finest householders of Brazil’s good ol’ hip hop. DJ Nyack skilled moves and Parteum’s anti-pop production pave the way for the rapper’s effortless flow. With complex wordplays and a sweet melodic chorus, Kamau shows he feels more alive than ever and won’t give up on hip-hop. — Felipe Maia
Dre’es - “Pure Sugar”
With his brand new single “Pure Sugar,” Mexican-American rapper Dre’es is turning a new page in his musical career after catching our attention with the nostalgia-ridden songs that form his 2021 HOME ERA EP. Sitting between atmospheric chords and a sharp beat, Dre’es sings and raps while looking out the window on a rainy afternoon, diving head-first into the anxieties and insecurities brought by the memories of a previous relationship. It’s a melancholic mood that fills the room. – Cheky
Conjunto Tropidelico - “Ultramar”
Usually, if you wanted to get into some fresh merengue-synthpop intersections, you might check out releases from the likes of El Gran Poder de Diosa or Estacion Sub Trópico in the Dominican Republic. However, El Salvador’s Conjunto Tropidélico just unveiled a delightful new single titled “Ultramar,” which weaves anthemic rock hooks, hypnotic merengue percussion, and spacey synths that’ll leave you tripping out. This is an ode to nostalgic beach days, a prayer for release and healing by the seaside. – Richard Villegas
Séssi - "Party"
With “Party,” the Cuban-Puerto Rican artist Séssi converts a hard breakup into a sensual feel-good track. In the new reggaeton pop single, she embraces self-love instead of dwelling on the past. In a press statement, she said, “I am mine before I am anyone else’s. All you need is self-love to rescue your heart.” The Michael Russell and Melissa Marín-directed music video showcases the singer dominating each visual, elevating her star persona to another level. Sonically, Séssi peppers in her vocal range that has us wanting more ballads from the New York-raised artist. – Jeanette Hernandez
Seba Otero - "Mejor Que Antes"
Seba Otero rides the positive word-of-mouth behind his last single “Salitre” right into this week’s release of his upcoming EP’s second promo track “Mejor Que Antes.” The slow jam leans on its jazz and R&B influences, with a feet-tapping production spearheaded by Eduardo Cabra that compliments Otero’s smooth vocals. The alternately flirty and wistful lyrics tease a fiery relationship between lovers that ends with one of them basking in the ashes left behind, aching for the chance to revel one more time in the passion they shared. The synths and brass come together to empathize with the yearning and the unanswered question of if that’s as good as it gets. — Juan J. Arroyo
Rico Jorge - “Ponto Colorido”
Afro-Brazilian candomblé rhythmics and analog synth base come together in this song, Rico Jorge’s single from his latest album Rascunhos & Resenhas Vol. 1. A multi-instrumentalist with a dexterous approach to melody-making, the Brazilian artist goes all the way around in this song. He strips out sound lines to create a multilayered theme instead of using a riff as the track’s main pivot. “Ponto Colorido” delivers a curious blend made out of a powerful will to dance and sing even though both of these are seemingly one single element. — Felipe Maia
ASMRBRUJO - “Anticlimax”
Adan Fresard, the Chilean-Venezuelan producer who records as ASMRBRUJO, just dropped his debut album on Sello Fisura titled MAXIMALISMO, and the opening track “Anticlimax” precisely reflects that concept. The instrumental song runs like a ‘90s Chicago post-rock jam standing on top of a speeding train going in circles. A broken drum pattern leads the way as layers of guitars and noisy synths pile up and up, spreading all over the frequency spectrum. Don’t be fooled by the song title; this is anything but anticlimactic. – Cheky