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. In this installment, we’re highlighting tracks ranging from incendiary political to dealing with inner demons to danceable lite bangers. Some of the featured artists include Residente, Zizzy, and Renata Zeiguer. The genres covered range from reggaeton bangers to R&B tunes to empowering pop songs. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Residente feat. Ibeyi - “This is Not America”
As if his incendiary Bizarrap collaboration hadn’t tossed enough lyrical molotovs, Residente is back with a searing new track titled “This Is Not America,” indicting the rampant capitalism, government corruption, and police brutality that plague our continent from top to bottom. Joined by Afro-Cuban sisters Ibeyi for a rousing chorus, the music video’s often-shocking imagery holds no punches, showing Victor Jara murdered by Chilean military forces, President Jair Bolsonaro wiping his mouth with the Brazilian flag, and indigenous children standing atop pyramids of Starbucks cups. – Richard Villegas
Maia Reficco - “Rápido y Furioso”
The young Argentine-American pop singer Maia Reficco gives us a catchy taste of her forthcoming debut EP with “Rápido y Furioso.” In this danceable, groovy track, she embarks on a new endeavor yet is no stranger to the public. While Reficco is already known as a successful actor, she is further pushing her fruitful career, now letting her singing talent known. Delivering her infectious pop vocals from the start, we are left captivated and intrigued to see what’s to come in her new musical career. – Jeanette Hernandez
jame minogue - “Hate Being in Love”
Listening to jame minogue’s new single “Hate Being in Love,” it’s easy to appreciate the peppy Caribbean rhythm underlining its catchy-yet-tortured lyrics. The Irish-Dominican singer, hailing from the Garden State, might have decided to channel his heartbreak via indie pop, but to him, that doesn’t mean setting his culture and background aside. Sunny melodies, Latine-infused percussion, and salsa piano notes color the song as it culminates in a frenzied conga coda. Soon to be found in his debut EP Príncipe Azul, it’s the kind of refreshing and carefree track that can make heartbreak bearable while it lasts. — Juan J. Arroyo
Zizzy - “Mil Demonios”
On “Mil Demonios,” Zizzy manages the hard task of making party music that deals with unpleasant, personal issues. In this standout track from his new project, he confronts his inner demons, singing about not letting them drag him down while turning up with hard 808s, spooky synths, and hyped-up autotuned vocals. “Mil Demonios” is ripe for introspection but can also be dropped into a DJ set to turn the party up. – Marcos Hassan
Renata Zeiguer - "Picnic In The Dark"
Filipino-Argentinian musician Renata Zeiguer captures the surreal stillness of a desert in the dead of night on “Picnic in the Dark,” the title track from her forthcoming album out April 8 via Northern Spy Records. Twangy guitars contrast Zeiguer’s ghostly and hushed yet atmospheric vocal style as she ventures into shadowy terrain, both in the single’s video and its lyrics: “Having a picnic in the dark/I can sit anywhere/There is no light around but I have found a way out here.” The sweeping ballad sheds light on Zeiguer’s tactful balance act of navigating the unknown and “letting things unfold with awareness.” – Nayeli Portillo
Marrón - “Una Sola Vez”
Only a few months after dropping his four-track EP Sunset Park, New York-based Mexican artist Marrón gives us “Una Sola Vez,” an understated synth-pop track that’s a tender declaration of love. Marrón beams with excitement because he’s found someone who makes his heart jump with a single word. But instead of shouting it out to the world, he chooses to share the emotion with such intimacy that his words feel like they’re being told in the dark, under the covers. – Cheky
Ñejo - "Esta Vida Presta"
Ñejo’s latest single, “Esta Vida Presta,” is a masterclass on flow and rhythm. The Puerto-Rican rapper is so locked in on each bar that his breathing sounds almost gone. And yet, Ñejo raps at ease, with nonstop rhyming and finding punchlines all through his way. Credit where it’s due, the ethereal, sideral synths found in the beat shape an excellent path for Ñejo chillout style. — Felipe Maia
Marineros - “A Toda Velocidad”
After seven years of unbearable anticipation, Chilean indie darlings Marineros are finally gearing up to release their sophomore album, teasing teary-eyed slow dances to come with the latest single, “A Toda Velocidad.” Produced by Christian Heyne and Soledad Puentes, the track channels Marineros’ evergreen brand of urgent earnestness, reminiscing on clammy-handed glances and stolen kisses over a simple, toe-tapping indie-rock canvas. – Richard Villegas
GALE - “Inmadura”
The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter GALE released an easy-going pop song about getting over a heartbreak and asking for emotional acceptance while at it. It’s no piece of cake getting over a bad breakup, but dressing in cowboy boots and dancing to this catchy, carefree track, like GALE does in the music video, is a good way to start. Being known for co-writing empowering female anthems for mega pop stars like Christina Aguilera, Anitta, Shakira, and Cardi B, GALE finally lets her own pop vocals be heard in an honest way with her debut. – Jeanette Hernandez
Drú - “Otra Noche”
Puerto Rican crooner Drú, real name Daniel Flores, had already showed off his R&B bonafides with previous tracks “Por Ti” and “Quiero.” But with his new release “Otra Noche,” he injects some perreo into the proceedings to savory effect. The lyrics and video tell the tale of being lost in the tumult of unreciprocated longing, all while the silky vocals and rapturous beat conspire to make you dance the heartache away. It’s a sumptuous combination of genres that manages to quicken the pulse and mellow the senses simultaneously. — Juan J. Arroyo
Daniel Villarreal - “Uncanny”
As part of Chicago’s Dos Santos, Daniel Villarreal is no stranger to bold artistic expressions, yet this new solo venture finds him traveling to a new and exciting territory. Propelled by a cumbia-like rhythm and mixing it with a dub reggae feel and sonic textures, Villarreal delivers a pocket-size cinematic experience, like riding on a train through both beaches and deserts along with ghosts. “Uncanny” is a great slice of evocative instrumental music. – Marcos Hassan
Ceci Bastida - “Dale"
Tijuana singer-songwriter Ceci Bastida ushers everyone onto the dancefloor with the multi-hued “Dale,” a booming electro-pop and Caribbean rhythm-inspired single that foregrounds the celebration of strength and exudes hope. The Latin Grammy-nominated artist recently unveiled her latest project, The Punk in Translation: Latinx Origins podcast (produced by veteran journalist Nuria Net), where she details the often-overlooked historical impact Latines had in the earlier days of the punk movement, as well as in its evolution, through a series of interviews with singers and musicians. Earlier this week, Bastida also announced that she’s in the process of completing her fourth album, which we can expect later this year. –Nayeli Portillo
Niños Luchando - “Ultimátum”
From Granada, Spain, Aurora frontman Javier Bolívar is about to release the follow-up to Diario de Inmersion, Pt. 1, his debut solo EP from last year. The first preview is “Ultimátum,” and even though there’s aggressiveness suggested in its title, it’s actually a contemplative, moody indie rock number that yearns for introspection. Led by static instrumentation that brings In Rainbows-era Radiohead to mind, the song is an inner exploration in third person rooted in fear and wanting to break out of it. – Cheky
MELLY - “PARIS”
“Paris” is one of the first singles by promising Brazilian singer Melly. With a soothing voice, she finds a melodious sweet spot for her singing accompanied by chunky samba-reggae basslines — a style cooked in Melly’s state, Bahia. The upbeat keys and overlayed guitars outline a perfect laid-back song for a Saturday sunset with Jamaican vibes — Felipe Maia