14 New Songs to Listen to This Week From MJ Nebreda & La Goony Chonga to Girl Ultra

Lead Photo: Photo by Ana Paula Teixeira.
Photo by Ana Paula Teixeira.
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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 MJ Nebreda with La Goony Chonga, Girl Ultra, and Moffa with paopao. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

MJ Nebreda, La Goony Chonga - “Perreo Oscuro”

MJ Nebreda’s newest project, Arepa Mixtape, is one of the best of the year, offering a buffet of sounds from dembow, perreo, industrial, changa-tuki, tropical, to house, and much more in between. She’s been dropping music videos with regularity for all the tracks, and this week, she teamed up with fan-favorite La Goony Chonga for the latest single, “Perreo Oscuro.” The two Miami-based artists visit Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan neighborhood and show off the kind of debauchery that goes on behind closed doors. As they gleefully revel in the energy of the song’s lyrics, they hope you shake off inhibitions and join their perreo rave celebration. — Juan J. Arroyo

Girl Ultra - “oggy”

Singer and songwriter Mariana de Miguel has been releasing lush, genre-defying R&B songs under the name of Girl Ultra since 2017. On her latest single, “oggy,” she embraces more alternative pop-rock stylings like chunky basslines and a bustling chorus. While this isn’t entirely new sonic territory for the Mexico City-based artist, who released last year’s energizer “Punk” alongside indie rock quintet Little Jesus, the arguably catchier “oggy” artfully juxtaposes fuzzy and distorted rhythms with syrupy-sweet textures. – Nayeli Portillo

Moffa, PaoPao - “saluDARTE”

Puerto Rican artist Moffa’s newest offering, “saluDARTE,” is a vibrant collaboration with Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter paopao. A strong synth anchors the flirty track, which later incorporates a pop and reggaeton vibe. It’s a new sound for Moffa, who experimented with different genres in the studio with paopao. He described the quick process as challenging because he “knew the caliber I had to deliver so that the song could reach its highest peak.” “saluDARTE” is an energetic addition to the urban artist’s catalog, with him and paopao making Puerto Rico proud. — Chelsea Quezada

Sael - "Locomia"

Sael just dropped another banger. “Locomia” is a seducing track that oozes flirtatious rhymes backed by a hot, perreo-ready reggaeton soundscape. With a throbbing beat, alluring synthesizers, and risqué lyrics about a secret lover, the Argentinian music maker delivers the perfect anthem for lowkey forbidden lovers. Moreover, “Locomia” is part of his newest eight-track EP H.10, also out today, which transcends genres like bachata, reggaeton, and trap. – Jeanette Hernandez

Nite Jewel - “Skinny Dipper”

Following her beautiful, contemplative 2021 album No Sun, Ramona Gonzalez gives us a new one-off single called “Skinny Dipper.” The song accompanies the Sex And Monsters comic of the same name, which is a reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Anabelle Lee” told from the protagonist’s point of view, turning it into a story of female empowerment. This is mirrored in González’s song, and she pairs her oceanic allegories with a breezy, tropical beat that has us floating in the sea. – Cheky

Javier Cali - “Recuerdo”

After spending most of the pandemic out of the limelight, Javier Cali’s brooding comeback is in full effect. Following the June release of his slow-cruising, trap-influenced EP Noches, the Mexican singer and producer has unveiled “Recuerdo,” an evocative slice of synthpop harkening to his days dancing and romancing in Merida, Yucatán. Shimmering arpeggios cascade over a booming, sensual beat as Cali reminisces on a past love, praying that even if their relationship did not prosper, at least the happy memories live on. – Richard Villegas

Go Betty Go - “We Talk A Lot”

Los Angeles Latina punk cult heroes Go Betty Go are back with a song approaching power pop perfection. “We Talk A Lot” could have been one of the most sung-along moments of any given Warped Tour during the festival’s heyday, with buzzsaw guitars, caffeinated drums, and “whoa oh” backing vocals to get you itching to try on your beat-up skate shoes. Their songwriting chops remain intact, and the emotional resonance of their simple but effective music gives the track a contemporary feel. “We Talk A Lot” proves that it’s time the punk world gives Go Betty Go their due. — Marcos Hassan

Marie - "No Me Contacte"

Marie has been hustling for years in the industry, expanding her range to become someone comfortable in pop, R&B, reggaeton, and even dancehall. The Dominican artist dropped her newest album, Lo Hago Así, last month, which shows off all the variety that she can offer. The latest single, “No Me Contacte,” is a luscious perreo that channels heartbreak and resentment into the best medicine for both: dancing and grinding the woes away. Marie knows the ins and outs of how to lock onto the reggaeton beat, resulting in a track that flows seamlessly and invites repeat listens. — Juan J. Arroyo

Tania Domínguez - “Cautela”

23-year-old Tania Domínguez from Raleigh, NC, continues to prove just why she’s one of the most exciting rising singer-songwriters in the música mexicana world. On “Cautela,” the Rancho Humilde signee boosts traditional regional music with lo-fi guitars and jazzy chord progressions to detail an unfolding romance. Its lovesick verses are sure to steal the hearts of fans of Conexion Divina and DannyLux, as Domínguez sings of leaning into an all-consuming love. – Nayeli Portillo

Emma Negrete - "Dreams and Dryspells"

Singer-songwriter Emma Negrete is starting a new era following the release of her 2021 debut EP Algorithms. “Dreams & Dryspells” is a mesmerizing pop and R&B track by the Chicana, featuring impressive harmonies and catchy hooks. She says she’s playing on the double meaning of “dry spells,” specifically when a love interest “starts playing games and the communication runs dry… leaving you feeling like they’ve casted a spell on you.” Influenced by artists like Kali Uchis and Etta James, Negrete has a background in classical and jazz music, and has been performing since she was 7 years old. To top it all off, Negrete is taking the brave leap of releasing this song — and music soon to come — independently for the first time in her career. — Chelsea Quezada

Santa Mykah - “Agua” 

The Tijuana-born multi-faceted artist Santa Mykah is back with a new single called “Agua.” The song demonstrates a new side of her strong-willed talent. Instead of spitting sharp and witty bars, she jumps on a Carrribean-inspired reggaeton pop track and sings about being infatuated with a special lover. By doing so, she embraces her softer, divine feminine side and shows us that she’s not just a fearless freestyle rapper – she’s an all-around badass DIY artist ready for the spotlight. – Jeanette Hernandez

Espectro Caudillo - “Cuando Tijuana Era Una Fiesta”

Former Los Macuanos member Reuben Torres is back with his Espectro Caudillo project to give us a brand new conceptual full-length titled La Liturgia del Tigre Blanco, a sonic journey through the life of infamous Tijuana figure Jorge Hank Rhon inspired by Daniel Salinas Basave’s homonymous book. Amongst the moody political chapters broken down on each track sits “Cuando Tijuana Era Una Fiesta,” pieced together with Norteño elements like tuba melodies, accordion stabs, and snare rolls that give celebratory vibes. It’s a party that comes crashing down towards the end with cascading dissonant synths that hint dark times ahead. – Cheky

Letelefono, Estella - “Los Chicos del Barrio”

On their cheeky, nostalgic new EP El Camino a la Fama, Ecuadorian indie pop underdogs Letelefono and Estella dig into their arsenal of retro cultural references to fashion themselves as the biggest showbiz icons you’ve never heard of. First came their cinematic ode to ‘60s Motown hits with “La Fiesta (Jay-Z),” and now, on “Los Chicos del Barrio,” the pair undergo a Grease-style makeover to satiate their crush’s affinity for celluloid bad-boys. The song’s propulsive drums evoke Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” while rousing horns nod directly to the Rocky theme, as if crafting an anthem of World Cup proportions. The pair even recorded an English version of the song called “Kiss Me More,” unabashed in their ambitions for global fame, even if they’re already superstars in their hometown of Cuenca. – Richard Villegas

Lika Nova - “El Corazón No Suelta”

Bogota’s Lika Nova has remained constant in their desire to bring people to the dancefloor through their neon-colored retro sound. “El Corazón No Suelta” continues this tradition, bringing in funky guitars and four-on-the-floor drum beats. However, this time, they bring the tempo a bit slower to get to an emotional territory they haven’t visited before. The song deals with letting go of a person they have romantic feelings for, bringing forth a sentimental heft to their poppy melodies. The result is a song that keeps the pulse steady and closer to the heart while still aiming for people to dance their tears away. — Marcos Hassan