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 Yandel and Feid, Isabella Lovestory, & Skeptic.
Isabella Lovestory, Chucky 73 - "Hit"
Isabella Lovestory is busy dropping hits and cementing a name for herself in the perreo pop industry. Following her single “Gateo” with Ms Nina, the Honduran, Montreal-based singer finally released a music video for her collaboration with Chucky 73. The fresh video for “Hit” is as eccentric and exciting as the club-ready track itself. It features the duo in a bizarre circus, full of balloons as both artists lay down their verses. With the infectious chorus and repetition of the word “hit” on top of a synth-heavy melody, Isabella curated a banger that’s flirty, fun, and ready for las posadas. – Jeanette Hernandez
Yandel, Feid - “Yandel 150”
Yandel and Feid’s voices are hard to miss – especially on their new collaboration “Yandel 150.” The two vocalists’ emblematic and signature autovoice vocals mesh together in a story about the enticing desire for a woman. The Fernando Lugo-directed music video features sensual dancers as the two reggaeton figureheads sing about their dream women dropping it low and letting loose. However, the plot twists in the end, when we figure out that they’re the ones actually being objectified; performing in a box in front of the club’s clientele. The result of the collaboration? A sexy reggaeton jam that’s perfect for your perreo playlist. – Jeanette Hernandez
Skeptic - "Valet Parking"
Skeptic’s last project, last year’s raucous Friki 2 Nite, was a very modern exercise with mostly trap, reggaetón, and hip-hop tracks. Today he drops his newest EP, Dupont Plaza, and while it still features the Puerto Rican word slinger rapping, this time around the beats are inspired by 80s disco and jazz-funk samples that harken the era of the album’s namesake. The Dupont Plaza was a glitzy hotel & casino in San Juan, until a disastrous arson took the lives of dozens of guests. Skeptic is more interested in the glamour that came before the tragedy and utilizes it, as in “Valet Parking”, to express the themes of existential aggrievement, matters of the heart, and social injustice that he excels at. — Juan J. Arroyo
Grumpa - “C U L O Trolley flyby #9”
Puerto Rican indie alt-rock band Grumpa is better known for the post-punk sound they’ve brought to their recent output, but with this week’s release of their new EP G.R.I.S. they’ve decided to change tacks, if for a brief experimental respite. The 3-track project features vocals on just one of the songs, while the other two are dedicated instrumentals that lean into a mesmerizing electronic sound. “C U L O Trolley flyby #9” is both the most accessible and also most sonically abstract, a fact that doesn’t distract from the late-night vibes it manages to impart on listeners. It’s a chill year-end palate cleanser for fans of their music, that still maintains the groove they’ve curated so far. — Juan J. Arroyo
Marina Fages – “Escama de vidrio”
Argentine rocker Marina Fages is having a banner year following a massive stadium show opening for Metallica, and a riveting performance at KEXP’s landmark Buenos Aires sessions back in the fall. In the run up to her new album, slated for release in March 2023, Fages has unveiled a new single titled “Escama de Vidrio.” The song ponders contentious relationships that dance like oil and water, growling over a canvas of stoner guitars, shimmering synths, and atmospheric bagpipes. The release is also accompanied by a music video produced by Fages, which showcases her textured visual art through animated loops depicting oceans and otherworldly Patagonian landscapes. — Richard Villegas
Charles Rojas - “Abuelita Cry”
Charles Rojas has feelings and he’s not shy about unpacking them. The Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and producer has unveiled his debut EP Spanglish, packed with collages of cumbia, reggaeton, and R&B that examine his journey as a diaspora kid from Ecuadorian and Venezuelan families. The earnest “Abuelita Cry” perhaps encapsulates this experience most concisely, examining grief through the lens of language; at times a strange obstacle to communication that can also open a new world of context. — Richard Villegas
Crudo Pimento - "Ardió Tu Pelo"
Bidding farewell to 2022 with an ode to the end of times, Murcia’s mightiest, noisiest duo are here to remind us about all the apocalyptic visions that manifest themselves around this time of year. Crudo Pimento delivers the expected noisy soundscapes and skronky riffs we have come to expect—and love—from them, but the sing-songy chant that drives “Ardió Tu Pelo” brings about a catchiness that doesn’t rely on pop melodies to be memorable. The song becomes a celebration of bad times to come, a way to face dark omens with a wink and a holler, delivering a late entry into your best oddball song of the year playlist. — Marcos Hassan
Joyce - “Moreno”
Joyce Moreno was one of the most promising voices out of the inspiring ‘60s music movement in Brazil yet she never captured a large audience during this time. At the end of the ‘70s, Joyce camped out to NY with producer Claus Ogerman and a rotating cast of brilliant Brazilian and U.S. players to craft her album Natureza which wasn’t released at the time. Now released by the Far Out label, we can enjoy tracks like “Moreno” which takes the jazzy elegance of bossa contemporaries along with the experimental tendencies while retaining an ear for catchy melodies. “Moreno” sweeps the listener away to a beautiful plane beyond this earthly realm. — Marcos Hassan