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 Yahritza y Su Esencia and Ivan Cornejo, Tei Shi, and Casper and Young Miko. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Yahritza y Su Esencia ft. Ivan Cornejo - “Inseparables”
In a long-awaited pairing in Mexican Regional music, the sensational sibling trio Yahritza y Su Esencia joins forces with Ivan Cornejo to deliver an emotionally charged, lovelorn hit with “Inseparables.” The passionate ballad broods in the longing for a partner’s loving presence as Yahritza’s inimitable and rather alto-leaning vocals meet Cornejo’s deeper, more baritone voice to coexist beautifully over the wistful melody provided by the 12-string guitar and bajoloche. Directed by Johnny Ragr, the video remains visually minimal, allowing the emotions to highlight a hyper-fixation on the enchantingly expressive single. — Jeanette Diaz
Tei Shi - “Bad Premonition”
After a dark period of struggling with record label drama, Argentina-born, Colombian-Canadian star Tei Shi rises back up with her new independently-released music, including her stunning, poppy R&B single, “Bad Premonition.” On the elegantly minimalistic jam, Tei Shi can sense cycles of toxicity in her career or personal life coming her way, but she surrenders to the things she can’t control. The song is packed with earworm melodies, and when she hits those glorious Aaliyah-like runs in the last few seconds, we’re completely melted on the floor. – Cheky
Trueno, Tiago PZK - “HOOD (Remix)”
Following the release of his dembow-infused collaboration “LOS APARATOS” with El Alfa and Noriel, the rising Argentinian rapper Trueno released a track that shows a different, more emotional side to him. “HOOD (Remix)” is a ballad with a softer and sentimental side from his usual hard-hitting popular rap style alongside Tiago PZK. The song’s lyrics describe the artists’ love for their neighborhood and a special someone, regardless of their fame. Towards the song’s end, a jazzy-feel harmonica takes over, which helps demonstrate how diverse Trueno’s music can actually be. – Jeanette Hernandez
Casper x Young Miko - "La Mini"
Trap heavyweight Casper Magico is back with a follow-up single to this summer’s “De Rumba.” The track features 24-year-old rapper Young Miko who (along with artists like Villano Antillano and RaiNao) stands at the forefront of a momentous women-led chapter in Puerto Rico’s respective trap and reggaeton scenes. “La Mini” leads with an infectious hook and finds the two tantalized by club-goers in mini-skirts, their inexhaustible flows riding over boomy bass drums and enticingly crisp hi-hats. – Nayeli Portillo
Keysokeys x Fiamma - “Pikete”
Keysokeys made heads turn when she dropped her kinetic single “C O N E” two months ago. But none were more important than Bad Bunny, who included another one of her tracks on his all-female Latine Heritage Month playlist for TIDAL. Now, she teamed up with fellow Puerto Rican flamethrower Fiamma for “Pikete.” Together, they don’t ease up a second as they show off their rap versatility and brash attitude over an animated beat. Frequent collaborator Shoury Santana returns to direct the music video, out Oct. 12, which shows off the duo demonstrating their natural piketúa energy with aplomb. — Juan J. Arroyo
Mabe Fratti - "Algo Grandioso"
Mexico City-via-Guatemala cellist and experimentalist Mabe Fratti is known to push the limits of her instruments and voice to new and exciting territories — qualities that have gained her a worldwide following and critical acclaim. Having said that, perhaps her biggest talent is to evoke deep-stirring emotions in listeners. On the ballad “Algo Grandioso,” a tick-tack-sounding cello line creates the perfect bed for Fratti’s voice to conjure feelings of melancholy while dub-like washes of sound rise and fall like waves of sadness inside the heart. “Algo Grandioso” reaches for big feelings in an intimate way. — Marcos Hassan
Niños del Cerro - “Daniel”
Four years after their acclaimed breakthrough Lance, Chile’s Niños del Cerro are finally unveiling their new full-length Suave Pendiente on October 13, unspooling a broad array of pop lyrics and introspective ruminations over immersive indie rock atmospheres. Amidst a barrage of late-in-the-game singles, “Daniel” cuts through with frustrated, desolate songwriting inspired by children living in dismal foster care conditions. The gloomy subject matter is echoed perfectly by an extended outro of whirring synthesizers, buzzing guitars, and crashing drums that make “Daniel” the longest cut on the album, as well as one of its most powerful. – Richard Villegas
Duquesa - “Duas da Manhã”
With no hurry and keeping a steady pace, Brazilian R&B artist Duquesa has released a couple of good singles in the past years. Now, she adds a new high-scoring song to the list with “Duas da Manhã.” Duquesa gives off both SZA and Ari Lenox vibes in the song, going from lamurious chanting to a dominant stance reinforced by its outro — a surprisingly airy way out that emcompasses languid guitars with her playful vocals. The 20-something singer is backed by Boogie Naipe, a label headed by Brazil’s greatest rapper Mano Brown. That’s just another signal to keep her on the radar of promising Brazilian artists. — Felipe Maia
Monsieur Perine - “Bailo Pa Ti”
There’s nothing more vulnerable than dancing without inhibitions. Monsieur Perine brings this to life with their latest single, “Bailo Pa Ti.” The song that previews their upcoming album, which is coming out in the next months. Produced by Rafa Sardina, the creation process traveled the uplifting mix between Bogota and Los Angeles to create a full-bloomed track that celebrates the beauty found within living your truth and dancing your life away to full enjoyment. With visuals to match, the duo can be seen in their most natural states as they are juxtaposed with images of the earth’s most natural wonders and textures. – Jeanette Diaz
Half Gringa - “Miranda”
“Miranda,” the new single by Venezuelan-American artist Half Gringa, is the first preview from her upcoming five-track EP Ancestral Home. The song is a deep look into past, present, and future selves. Born Isabel Olive, the Chicago singer/songwriter puts into melody a poetic reflection of the different identities within herself, plus the places, feelings, and experiences that have shaped her. It is all set to the sound of a cloudy alt-rock-informed indie pop instrumental that sparks with a muscular rhythm section and a thin veil of overdrive. – Cheky
Francisca Valenzuela - “Detener El Tiempo”
The American-Chilean singer-songwriter, poet, and activist Francisca Valenzuela released “Detener El Tiempo,” a sentimental song that describes embracing the perfect moment with somebody special. The melody is formed by a minimalist and mellow piano-driven track paired with her signature light vocals – setting an intimate and relatable mood for the listener. The video follows her cherished moments, including performances on stage in front of her beloved audience. The song is her latest single off her album VIDA TAN BONITA. – Jeanette Hernandez
Katzù Oso - “Solo En Mi Fantasía”
Earlier this year, solo artist Paul Hernandez (aka Katzù Oso) released his much-anticipated debut album Tmí, a sun-kissed love letter to Boyle Heights sprinkled with ‘70s grooves and prismatic synths. On “Solo En Mi Fantasía,” Hernandez prospers as an off-kilter pop punk songwriter, detailing an all-consuming type of love that ultimately is too good to be true. Driven by swift acoustic power chords and a whirling, new wave-heights chorus, the track stands as a gleaming example of the bedroom pop contemporary’s stylistic breadth and range. – Nayeli Portillo
HF Diez x Nester - “Wedding Crashers”
HF Diez’s recent EPs Planet X and Lunático were a dynamic one-two punch of Latine trap that put him in the conversation for one of the year’s underrated best new artists. He doesn’t show signs of slowing his output, dropping “Wedding Crashers” not two months after his last project. He’s joined by Nester, himself having a busy 2022, and together guided by a thumping MELLOWAVES beat, they let loose and trade bars. It’s a one-off of three talents seeing what they can cook up together, and the result is a bully track that’s just as catchy as it goes hard. — Juan J. Arroyo
Antonio Sánchez, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross - "I Think We're Past That Now"
At first glance, this collaboration might seem odd. Mexican jazz drummer Antonio Sánchez has been at the forefront of the genre’s new shifting lines, while Reznor and Ross are the main forces behind Nine Inch Nails, one of the biggest bands on the planet. However, all three have worked on film soundtracks, making highly intrinsic yet emotional music for various movies. On “I Think We’re Past Now,” they stir away from their score work, the song ebbing closer to NIN’s gothy mechanized grooves with Sánchez doing his magic behind the kit. Arriving just in time for spooky season, this slithering-yet-seductive track is an amazing addition to your Halloween playlist. — Marcos Hassan
La Piba Berreta - “La Cocotera”
Argentinian punk poet and chanteuse La Piba Berreta enjoys sacrilege. Putting her own filthy twist on Karina Crucet’s classic cumbia “La Cocotera,” La Piba harnesses savage electroclash and beach bunny camp over thumping basslines and trance-like wails, claiming she’s found something better than romantic love. The song arrives ahead of a new film co-directed with Nina Kovensky titled Golpe de Suerte, a surrealist “discopelicula” shot during lockdown in the province of Entre Ríos. – Richard Villegas
A Travestis, OK Rafael - “Cadê a Maconha?”
Tertuliana Lustosa’s A Travestis is one of the most compelling music acts blooming out of Bahia, Brazil, today. Not only bringing LGBTQIA+ topics to a landscape once dominated by a heteronormative posture, but the singer also pulls out a blend of cheek-in-tongue vibe with a gnarly attitude, along with the irresistible pagodão rhythmics. This heavily-charged percussion branch of samba is crossed by a swing reggae bassline in “Cadê a Maconha?,” a fun manifest in favor of the legalization of cannabis that revisits one of Bahia’s reggae classic, Adão Negro’s “Vamo Botar Um.” — Felipe Maia