13 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Kibi James to Ana Macho

Lead Photo: Photo by Tears Star.
Photo by Tears Star.
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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 Kibi James, Ana Macho, and Chino Pacas. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Kibi James - “Go Outside”

Hailing from Atlanta, up-and-coming threesome Kibi James has announced its debut album, delusions, releasing a dreamy piece of indie pop goodness titled “Go Outside.” Mari, MJ Corless, and Pomi Abebe’s voices float and swirl in the stereo spectrum in stunning harmonies while they sing in English and Spanish about the need to connect with nature and its essence but being stopped in their tracks by today’s world and its chaos, preventing them from finding a much-needed release. Don’t miss its lovely naturalistic music video shot in Prado, Colombia. – Cheky

Ana Macho - “Exclusive”

Ana Macho’s time has arrived, and not a moment too soon. The self-proclaimed (and wholly earned) Caribbean pop star, whose duet “Muñeca” with Villano Antillano was named one of Remezcla’s Best Reggaetón Songs of 2021, will release their debut LP later this summer and kick things off with new single “Exclusive.” The song is a bass-heavy brag track that tongue-in-cheek lists all the ways their superstar life has reached new stratospheres. The Josh Anton-directed music video leans into the energy, showcasing Macho in fierce splendor and with untouchable swag. While the pomp is partly related to the album’s running theme, Ana Macho also knows they definitely have it and flaunt it proudly. — Juan J. Arroyo

dadá Joãozinho - “Cuidado! (feat. Alceu, Bebé)”

João Rocha, aka dadá Joãozinho, broke ground in Brazil’s music scene as a member of ROSABEGE, an electronic music collective that fuses the sounds of bossa nova with sprawling synth pop. Now as a solo artist, Joãozinho flexes his experimentalist muscles even further by leaning into heftier productions that erupt with gritty drum machine tracks and chiming analog synths. “Cuidado!” is a dazzling collage of baile funk, hip-hop, and jazz that runs on an adrenaline rush fit for a cinematic heist scene as ambient pop songstress Bebé and Alceu come along for the joyride. – Nayeli Portillo

Chino Pacas - "Yo Preferí Chambear"

Many emerging artists are having a moment now that corridos tumbados are mainstream. Such is the case of Guanajuato’s Chino Pacas, born Cristián Ávila Vega, who just dropped his latest single, “Yo Preferí Chambear.” The single comes after his viral joint track “Dijeron Que No Lo Iba Lograr” with Fuerza Regida. It highlights Chino’s distinctive piercing voice narrating his preference for hustling rather than studying—a true 16-year-old POV. Though he’s a new face in the music industry, he already snagged a Drake cameo in this video, which few young artists can relate to. – Jeanette Hernandez

Ani Cordero - "Troublemaker"

For her latest single, Ani Cordero goes into melodic territory that verges on pop, and we’re all the better for it. The title track from her upcoming album, “Troublemaker” takes the fun route, relying on four-on-the-floor beats, fluffy synths, and vocal hooks that will lodge into your brain instantly. On the surface, the song gives the singer-songwriter a chance to let loose and indulge in uncomplicated feelings. However, listening closer reveals a melancholic aspect that gives the track a deeper meaning. All this to say that “Troublemaker” is a song you will listen to more than once. — Marcos Hassan


Mexican rapper Doce’s newest single, “BIEN,” arrives along with a self-directed, black-and-white music video. The introspective and emotional track showcases a new side to the Monterrey-born artist, who raps about not eating, sleeping, or feeling well without their significant other. “BIEN” features a verse from fellow Monterrey rapper, Dardd, and production by Adrian Be. Doce and Dardd carry out their blues over a faint synth instrumental laced with guitar. — Chelsea Quezada

BrunOG - “Nuestra Canción”

BrunOG is a true Renaissance man. While best known for his work as a perreo craftsman with indie leanings, the past decade has seen the superstar producer collaborate with everyone from Alemán, Ms Nina, and Álvaro Díaz to Juanes and La Sonora Santanera. As he gears up to release a new EP, lead single “Nuestra Canción” heralds BrunOG’s return to center stage, singing about romance and heartbreak while channeling the all-encompassing disillusionment that set in amidst the pandemic. As he wrestles with his demons, throbbing bass lines, shimmering synths, and crashing reggaeton drums create a dark and moody atmosphere—the kind of emo perreo perfect for a summer soundtrack. – Richard Villegas

Alan Palomo - “Stay-At-Home DJ”

Alan Palomo has officially ended his Neon Indian era and is now opening a new chapter with his upcoming album World of Hassle, his first under his birth name. Following his Mac Demarco-featuring first single, “Nudista Mundial ’89,” Palomo now shares “Stay-At-Home DJ,” a fun synthpop track that hilariously elaborates on the song’s title. With splashes of yacht rock and city pop, the song shows Palomo in a more easygoing light than in his previous output while still looking at past decades for inspiration, and it’s a joy to witness. – Cheky

Ley Line - "Desde Lejos"

Austin-based quartet Ley Line stops time on the ethereal and meditative “Desde Lejos.” Here, the four-piece draws on influences like Brazilian pop and mesmeric folk songs in an ode to what they describe as the power of prayer. Soul-soothing harmonies pack the samba-infused track featuring two noteworthy hometown musical heroes—jazz trumpeter Ephraim Owens imparts his improvisational touches while Grammy-winning producer and singer-songwriter David Garza joins on rhythm guitar. – Nayeli Portillo

Claire Delić - “Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte”

Mecano’s influence transcends generations. In this new version of the 1986 hit “Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte,” Claire Delić makes it her own by adding deeper croons and emotional textures to the song’s signature piano-driven melody. The cover is part of her new album 12 Plagios, an ode to the Spanish-language classics that the Holland-born artist is deeply inspired by. Based on this track alone, she undoubtedly demonstrates her devotion to the Latine community, one that embraced her at only two years old when she moved to Costa Rica. – Jeanette Hernandez

Carlos Niño & Friends - "Taaaud"

Sometimes, music can help us step back, replenish our spirit, and give us peace of mind. Luckily, Carlos Niño and his friends are here to help in this aspect with their ambient take on spiritual jazz. On “Taaaud,” this band of musicians take ecstatic washes of sound and play them with fervor that borders on ecstatic while blending with our surroundings thanks to birdsong that pops occassionally. With pianos, flutes, and synths forming waves that ebb and flow, “Taaaud” becomes a balm of passion for those needing music to soothe the soul. — Marcos Hassan

Novalima - "La Danza"

Latin Grammy-nominated Novalima’s second single, “La Danza,” is the title track from their upcoming EP, out June 23. The Afro-Peruvian group declares that life is a dance that is always evolving. The message of this song complements the healing theme of the EP, written during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buoyant percussion inspired by their African heritage is present on the track. “La Danza” features rich, booming vocals from Novalima’s Milagros Guerrero along with a special feature from Colombian artist Pablo Watusi. — Chelsea Quezada

Mauro Samaniego - “La Falla”

Mauro Samaniego has grown into one of Ecuador’s most powerful storytellers. Whether rocking out with his bands Da Pawn and Tripulación de Osos or canvasing the most recondite corners of his psyche with his textured, often experimental solo project, Quito’s troubadour hero is always at the ready with his pen and guitar. Waving farewell to his 2022 LP Simona, Samaniego unveiled this week a final bonus track for the album titled “La Falla,” a gloomy meditation on a collapsing world. A slow burner of acoustic guitar and skeletal percussion, the song crescendos with saturated synths and digital drums, booming with cathartic hope that our collapsing systems might lead out of the toxic patterns we’ve called home for far too long. – Richard Villegas