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15 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Ryan Castro to Princesa Alba

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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 Princesa Alba, Ryan Castro, and Martox.

Ryan Castro - “Marbella”

With the global overtake of reggaeton, it becomes harder and harder to find straightforward songs in el movimiento that deserve a place among the best ones. That’s exactly what “Marbella” does. Ryan Castro’s latest single relies on no more than the three-beat pattern, a couple of enticing keys, and his vocals — full of melody and beautiful variations. The video keeps it simple too, but the music still takes all the spotlight. — Felipe Maia

Princesa Alba - “Ya No Soy tu Baby”

Eternal summer energy and poolside antics are abundant in the latest video from Chilean superstar Princesa Alba. “Ya No Soy tu Baby” is a slick party-pop production made in collaboration with songwriter and producer Julián Bernal, and follows in the footsteps of last year’s prismatic besitos, cuídate but with a pre-Y2K twist. Its vivacious percussion and irresistible uptempo groove harken back to the larger-than-life pop anthems made popular by heavyweights such as Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Jenifer Lopez circa 1999. – Nayeli Portillo

Jota Rosa ft. Kris Floyd, Young Miko, Chanell - “DE PASAJERO”

Club Dieciséis, the producer showcase line of EPs from Tainy’s NEON16 label, will focus on in-house talent Jota Rosa for its upcoming sophomore volume. The album’s second single, “De Pasajero,” brings together rising star Young Miko alongside fellow young guns Kris Floyd and Channell for a dance-trap track that lays out with revelrous detail what a hype night out with them would be like. The trio leans into the numerous beat changes, staying steady as Jota sonically recreates the highs and lows of club-hopping while his artists take listeners on a wild ride of painting the town red and us in the passenger seat. — Juan J. Arroyo

Moreno ITF - “Pull Up”

With his brand-new EP GANGOSO WORLD, Dominican-born, Bronx-bred rapper Moreno ITF carries the torch lit up by Pop Smoke throughout its five banging tracks, and the clubby “Pull Up” is one of the songs that hits the hardest. Powered by a snappy African/Jamaican-flavored drill beat, “Pull Up” is a great condensation of what the EP has to offer, highlighting his rapping chops and themes of gangster love, sex, and respect, while opening a window to his bicultural experience. – Cheky


It’s finally the holiday season! Every holiday season, we are treated to festive tracks that are delightfully smothered with pop and topped with jingle bells. The latest is “Mistletoe” by the four-piece Latine girl group ANGEL22, a cover of a Justin Beiber song that instantly puts you in a jolly mood. The harmonized pop single is as merry as it is inclusive, featuring three languages “to make each of our fans feel more at home during this beautiful time,” per the group. It comes just in time for celebrations and serves as a reminder of the love that should permeate during the holidays. – Jeanette Hernandez

Letelefono, Estella - “La Canción del Mundial”

The World Cup is a season for passion. The pounding hearts and emotional rollercoaster rides of fútbol are not unlike the thrill of blooming romance and these parallels are explored at length on Letelefono’s latest single, “La Canción del Mundial.” Ecuador’s beloved alt-pop experimentalists teamed up with singer/songwriter Estella to refract the tension of love through a sporting lens, stitching acoustic guitar arrangements with digital beats that’ll have the butterflies in your stomach racing for the goal. – Richard Villegas

Gotopo & Don Elektron - “Cucu”

The sound of cumbia filtered through digital instruments has been around for quite a while now, yet listening to a song like “Cucu” will make you hear the fusion from a whole new perspective. Berlin-via-Venezuela musician Gotopo has the right balance between gritty percussions and electronics that are both earthbound and impossible not to dance to. Extra points go to the production, which was done by her and Ulises Lozano of the band Kinky. — Marcos Hassan

UTOPIXXXTA – “Secos e Molhados (Wealstarcks Remix)”

Based in Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, and New York, the Brazilian trio UTOPIXXXTA expanded their global connection by bringing the producer Wealstarcks to the blend. The Parisian producer revamped the trio single “Secos e Molhados,” a sexy, luscious jam with synthpop lines and mellow vocals. The new version enhances the single’s dancefloor verve, a sonic love affair that gives deep house to Sango and Kaytranada vibes. — Felipe Maia

Julián Dysart - “Déjame Volver”

Listening to alternative R&B singer-songwriter and musician Julián Dysart’s debut EP Inner Nature feels like being in on a well-kept secret. In just a little over 16 minutes runtime, the Los Angeles native effortlessly flexes his cross-genre influences, touching on everything from ambient folk to funked-heavy Afro-Cuban hand percussion. On the spellbinding “Déjame Volver,” Dysart’s gritty and soulful croons intensify over gentle fingerpicking as wavy, pitch-shifted vocals pile on at the song’s close. – Nayeli Portillo

NaboriNyah - “En El Ghetto”

NaboriNyah might still be considered a rookie in the indie rap scene but his debut LP, KALUNGA, projected a deft confidence over his talents and form that cemented him as a prospect to keep a close eye on. He confirms that sentiment further with “En el Ghetto,” a new collab alongside riddim wrangler Dr. Digital Aché that gives NaboriNyah a new sandbox to show off his chameleonic ability to seamlessly flow over any beat and not lose the thread of his lyric’s message. In this case, a familiar-but-still welcome observance of the class and socioeconomic tribulations of Puerto Rico’s urban neighborhoods. For added delight, Aché has also released a fully dub version of the song to groove to. — Juan J. Arroyo

Snakehips - “Solitude” (ft. BIA & Lucky Daye)

British electronic music duo Snakehips tapped Beyonce-approved Grammy-winning artist Lucky Daye for their new single “Solitude,” but it’s singer/rapper star BIA who dominates the song with her earworm of a chorus and honey-sweet vocal tone. A melancholic harmony and relaxed deep house beat set the table for BIA’s croon, as she longs for her lover’s warm touch while she lies in bed alone, and Lucky Daye sits on the other side of FaceTime sharing the feeling. This is one for the lonely-hearted. – Cheky

Martox - “Destellos”

Following “Entre El Futuro Y El Pasado,” the Dominican duo Martox released their latest ballad, “Destellos.” The romantic track starts with a soft acoustic guitar-driven intro while the vocalist reminisces about a past lover. Its melody then picks up with a tasteful and rhythmic beat that carries the singer’s nostalgic lyrics with a gentle hint of reverb. The latter component adds a subtle magic touch that captivates the listener to hear more of the heart-wrenching love story. – Jeanette Hernandez

Gianluca - “Una Fixa”

For years, Gianluca has expanded the limits of Chilean trap and reggaeton with a bold combination of street swagger and studio inventiveness, synthesized in spectacular fashion on his 2019 debut LP Yin Yang. But before committing to a follow-up, Gianluca opted for exploring new beats and motifs on a string of mixtapes, the latest of which is MINION, scheduled for release on Dec. 9. “Una Fixa” is the latest glimpse of this whimsical chapter, framing the rapper’s sensual bars in uptempo reggaeton designed for dance floor seduction and blaring from the car stereo. – Richard Villegas

Andrea Franz - “Yo Perdí”

Arriving on the scene thanks to Discos Panoram and touring with Zoé as their opening band, Andrea Franz might expand what one thinks of an act associated with the legendary Mexican rock band. Franz shares a galactic and melodic sound with them, but her artistic sensibilities lie in the ultra-melodic territory of synthpop. “Yo Perdí” has irresistible dance vibes and unstoppable choruses that will make you think you’re listening to a lost ’80s pop en español classic. Franz shines through in this song full of ecstasy and melancholy. — Marcos Hassan

Unochosiete - “Boricua Guerrero”

Unochosiete’s indie career has found him dipping his toes in many genres — not as a testament to any kind of musical identity crisis but instead to a commitment to doing things on his own terms and venturing wherever his muse takes him. Following EPs ranging from garage rock to indie soul, he released his most personal project yet, Sober Poverty, this week. In it, he dabbles in R&B, lo-fi rap, bolero, pop ballad, and reggae, deconstructing them to fit the needs of his message and creative impulses. “Boricua Guerrero” is a more straightforward yet still lyrically rich track, wherein he sets the stage for anyone who wishes to learn who he is, where he’s from, and what to expect. — Juan J. Arroyo