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 Zion & Lennox, Las Villa, and Junior H.. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Zion & Lennox, Danny Ocean - "BRISA"
Reggaeton legends Zion & Lennox are here to remind us how legends do it, getting the party turnt, and keeping younger artists on their toes. “BRISA” opens with flow that could easily fit in a trap beat, but soon the BPMs go way up, and we’re in dance-till-the-break-of-dawn territory. Celebrating the beach and partying and staying in those paradisiac settings, both emcees bend the track to their will and get the job done with flying colors, reminding us of their staying power. – Marcos Hassan
Las Villa - “La Carta”
“La Carta” by the Colombian duo Las Villa, composed by Laura and Lucía, immediately captivates us due to the song’s lyrics and playful melody. Featuring a modern, almost bachata-induced pop beat, the duo delivers a fun and easygoing track that captures a female-empowering anthem about getting over an ex-partner. In doing so, the two seem unbothered throughout the video, enjoying themselves rather than being sad about it. What a way to turn a negative situation into a positive bonding experience! – Jeanette Hernandez
Junior H - "12 Rifles"
Young leader of the new wave in the Mexican regional movement, Junior H shares his latest – a live version of “12 Rifles” recorded in Hermosillo, Sonora, in Mexico. Known for his highly signature sad boy sierreño style, he amps up the tempo on this corrido tumbado to showcase he can master many styles in the genre. The lyrics, on the other hand, encapsulate a storytelling narrative of territorial hitmen traveling through Mexico’s northern states. His voice carries strongly over the song’s more traditional-corrido sounds, encompassing his popular approach of vivid guitars and occasional trumpets but adds a fuller banda vibe for this track complete with bass-carrying tuba, rich accordion notes, and swift percussion rhythms. – Jeanette Diaz
Trillones - “Disparas Oro”
After three years of singles, wacky teasers, and memes, Mexicali producer Trillones has finally released his ambitious new album Música para estadios de tercera división. Drawing from a dizzying palette of tribal guarachero, electro-cumbia, techno, corridos, and synthpop, the prismatic record is also his most intimate to date, contrasting romantic highs and lows against never-ending existential conundrums. One of the album’s most tender moments comes with “Disparas Oro,” a throbbing indie-pop dedication to that special someone who makes you wish you could stretch time and keep them by your side just a bit longer. – Richard Villegas
Katzù Oso - “Thinking Too Much” (ft. Honeywhip)
Katzù Oso has never sounded smoother than on “Thinking Too Much,” his second 2022 single. The L.A.-based artist born Paul Hernandez summoned the R&B deities for inspiration and completed this soft, warm jam with producer Charlie Brand and contributions from duo Honeywhip. The stunningly sparse instrumentation and magnetic groove lightly dress the neurotic push-and-pull lyrics about being torn between unhealthily holding on or finally letting go of a decaying relationship, bringing a stark contrast that, in the end, helps us actually to ease our minds. – Cheky
Adrian Quesada & Gabriel Garzón-Montano - “El Paraguas”
In “El Paraguas,” Adrian Quesada saddened and groovy guitar lines outline a smooth path to the torn-up vocals of Gabriel Garzón-Montano. With a passionate singing style, the NY-based artist tells us the story of a man and his umbrella — both his protection from rainy days and a cover that stops from seeing the marvelous sky, a reminder of her long-gone loved one. The single’s tetric organ riffs and waltz-like tempo fetch up a unique melancholic mood to the song. — Felipe Maia
Siete Catorce - “Michelada”
It’s been a minute since we last heard from this venerable Mexicali producer and his newest work, Cruda, doesn’t disappoint. Taking tribal guarachero to the next level, the song features a beat that shifts so constantly it could well be a math rock song; however,“Michelada” never loses sight of the dancefloor. “Michelada” is the type of track you can dance to or listen to with headphones on, discovering new elements with every repetition. — Marcos Hassan
Bodine - “Celos”
Netherlands-born and Puerto Rican raised Bodine released the official visualizer for “Celos” featuring Panamanian artist CHICOCURLYHEAD. In this video clip, we see a very sensual and empowering side of Bodine, dressed in leather and sporting a whip, instantly commanding each video frame. In “Celos,” which is also the name of her EP, we hear Bodine’s entrancing and soft vocals telling the story of a love gone sour, while CHICOCURLYHEAD assures that the love is loyal. Whatever the case may be, the song is both catchy and one of the EP’s most enjoyable. – Jeanette Hernandez
La Auténtica Banda LL - “La Vida Es Un Momento”
Over the years, El Salvador’s La Auténtica Banda LL have cemented their status as Central American luminaries of banda sinaloense and corridos with anthemic torch songs and big baile bangers. This week they unveiled a brand new album titled La Vida Es Un Momento, which celebrates their music’s Mexican roots while infusing fresh influences from Colombian vallenato and Salvadoran xuc. The freewheeling banda title track is an effusive celebration of life that urges listeners and dancers alike to not dwell on their failures or shortcomings, but to be present and embrace every lesson, especially on the dance floor. – Richard Villegas
Bido, Shay., Kidd Luna, Adriel.sfx - "Baby"
Producers Adriel.sfx, Kidd Luna, and Shay. joined forces to bring us an exhilarating love declaration called “Baby,” led by Chicago-based Dominican vocalist Bido. The track encapsulates references from the last decades of electronic music, from turn-of-the-millennium breakbeats to future bass-style vocal samples to today’s hyperpop coloring. The combination of the soaring production and Bido’s melodies and romantic words takes us up and up and makes our hearts race, just as if we’re experiencing love. – Cheky
Los Saints - “IDK”
Climbing the U.S. alt-rock ladder with fulgurous creativity, the trio Los Saints introduce us to another of their good ol’ and yet fresh indie jams with “IDK.” The song reverberates with high-pitched guitars, steady drums, and Californian sunny vibes that send the listener right back to the 2010s and all those blogs posting about bands like Best Coast and The Drums. But this is not only about sweet nostalgia. The trio’s lyrics pull out a soft and acute approach to social anxiety and love. — Felipe Maia