12 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Mabiland to Y La Bamba

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Sixth House.
Courtesy of Sixth House.
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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 Mabiland, Y La Bamba, and CNCO with Steve Aoki. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Mabiland - “Escrache”

After just dropping her TORQUE: Vol. 1 EP last Dec., Colombian force of nature Mabiland has now shared a brand-new loosie titled “Escrache,” which further stretches the limits of her versatility. Riding a dark high-octane drill-informed beat, Mabiland claps back at internet gossip and Instagram posts trying to tarnish her character, fighting them with her truth and cold hard facts. She switches from a growly, take-no-prisoners rap to an affected croon to shoot her rounds, but it’s a fire under which, unfortunately, other women who use social media to denounce abuse get caught. – Cheky

Y La Bamba - “Dibujos De Mi Alma”

Luz Elena Mendoza Ramos is back with her long-running project Y La Bamba, and “Dibujos De Mi Alma” points to it being their most accomplished work to date. The song in question moves like a bolero but feels like a lo-fi soul/new wave ballad, gliding affected guitars with Mendoza Ramos’ characteristic vocal stylings, resulting in a joyous yet melancholic track that comes alive with each subsequent listen. Y La Bamba proves to be an essential listen as we move into a post-pandemic reality and we deal with all the emotional tangles coming undone with time. — Marcos Hassan

Steve Aoki, CNCO - “Diferente”

Steve Aoki always supports Latine artists through his record label Dim Mak En Fuego. His latest release, “Diferente” with CNCO, is another testament to his endearment towards our community’s talents. “Diferente” embodies a light, groovy house music track with the group’s widely recognized soothing vocals. Part of what makes this Aoki production different from his usual EDM bass-heavy party bangers is that he curated an almost euphoric-like pop melody paired perfectly with CNCO’s airy, heartfelt vocals, giving it a distinctive je ne sais quoi that transcends a warm nostalgic feeling to its listener. – Jeanette Hernandez

Bo Bundy - “Mexican Heaven”

On the towering double album The Lone Star: Side A & Side B, Houston’s Jorge Frías, aka Bo Bundy, experiments with everything from thrashy pop-punk to syrupy, pitched-down cumbia rap. The Rancho Humilde signee may quip about taking your sister out for a torta and the upkeep of his meticulously-sculpted taper fade mullet, but “Mexican Heaven” stands as one of the album’s most pensive and existential moments. Driven by a somber acoustic guitar loop, Frías builds up to a breathless and razor-sharp flow with the subtle confidence of a seasoned rapper who knows he’s at the top of his game and shows no signs of slowing down. – Nayeli Portillo

Rels B - “yo pr1mero”

It’s common for many to reconsider our priorities in the wake of the unprecedented times we’re living in. Rels B’s latest single, “yo pr1mero,” is a timely reminder that it’s never too late to put yourself first. Despite opening with a slow-burning, mambo-esque groove, the laidback track surprisingly finds a way to become uptempo. The Spanish rapper’s smooth flow and mellow vocals carry the chant-commanding chorus and makes it feel anthemic. This stripped-down production makes the self-care message accessible even without the usual sonic frills that bloat other empowerment songs. Maybe less really is more. – Alex Ocho

Budaya, Pønce - “Quiero Decirle”

Ahead of their upcoming performance at Carnaval de Bahidorá 2023, Mexican synthpop duo Budaya have unveiled a new single titled “Quiero Decirle,” which dips into melancholy songwriting and ‘90s-tinged production. Joined by singer/songwriter and producer Pønce, the track is deliciously percussive, propelled even further by atmospheric guitars and longing hooks that harken to retro-faves like Savage Garden. While hard to isolate, something deep within this song’s DNA just feels like the prelude to a kiss. – Richard Villegas

Betina & Luiza Lian - “O Coração Batendo No Corpo Todo”


Following her collaboration with psych-pop stars Boogarins, “Polaroid,” Brazilian artist Betina keeps previewing music from her upcoming sophomore album—this time with her new single “O Coração Batendo No Corpo Todo,” in collaboration with singer-songwriter Luiza Lian. This weightless pop number asks us to live in the present and experience what the world has to offer, disconnected from the online world, from the sun and its rays on our skin to the beat of our own hearts. – Cheky

Becca Lilia, Romeo Diablos - “La Muerte Me Gusta”

Dembow may be ruling the charts right now but it hasn’t diminished its capability for underground producers to make challenging and imaginative work. “La Muerte Me Gusta” puts together Becca Lilia’s electronic leanings with Romeo Diablos’ brujaton style for something quite special, fusing reggaeton with drum n’ bass, autotuned vocals, and a noisy arrangement to deliver something truly original. As warped and bizarre as “La Muerte Me Gusta” sounds, it remains catchy and groovy enough to guarantee you hit replay. —  Marcos Hassan


The Panamanian producer BK–also known as Johnny López–teamed up with other Panamanian artists, PM and Jorkan, on his newest single, “ONE TIME SHORTY.” The fresh single boasts a hypnotic perreo beat that instantly calls the crowd to the dance floor. Though it’s a shorter production–only about two minutes long–it serves as a good way to get into BK’s new EP BAD GYAL RIDDIM, a dedicated soundtrack to Panama’s carnivals this year. – Jeanette Hernandez

Valentina Moretti - “Just Leave The Past Behind”

Mexico City avante-garde musician, DJ, and producer Valentina Moretti continues to break ground in the ever-evolving world of electronic music. The future-leaning “Just Leave The Past Behind” uses artificial intelligence and self-aware algorithms that essentially learn from its creator, whose influences include visionaries like Cocteau Twins and Kraftwerk. While the AI angle may be mind-boggling to some, nothing feels forced or rigid: the results are airy synth arpeggios that glisten with full ‘80s dance-pop nostalgia. – Nayeli Portillo

Aya Nakamura, Myke Towers - “T'as peur”

Something magical can happen when different musical worlds collide. On “T’as Peur” from her new album DNK, French chanteuse Aya Nakamura is joined by Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers. The pairing is unexpected, but it’s a musical match made in heaven. With a somber piano sample carrying the melody and an Afrobeat rhythm keeping the pace, Nakamura and Towers sing about overcoming romantic woes and reaching an understanding in spite of the language barrier between them. The combination of Nakamura’s emotive vocals and Towers’ natural flow highlights their musical synergy in such a way that makes you wonder: why they haven’t collaborated sooner? – Alex Ocho

Ladrones - “Máquina Caótica”

Why is Boricua punk so damn fun? While we get back to you with an answer, smash the play button on Ladrones’ latest single, “Máquina Caótica,” the buzzing, thrashing tittle-track from their next pummeling EP. With their first release since 2021’s Coronita, the Atlanta-based scoundrels prove they’re still very much in the mood to fuck shit up, as singer Valeria Sanchez wails menacingly over guitarist José Rivera’s wall of riffs. Forever unflinching, forever unrelenting. – Richard Villegas