We are living through an era where more music is available to us than ever – whether it be via social media, streaming or apps. But despite this wealth of options, it can be difficult to cut through the industry hype, the homogenizing algorithms, and find something new and exciting. In our weekly Nuevo Noise playlist, you’ll find some of our favorite releases of the week – from the most exciting new names in urbano to the burgeoning SoCal neo-Chicano soul wave and everything in between.
This week’s playlist is brought to you by the 2020 Census, giving a voice to rising Latinx neighborhoods similar to how Nuevo Noise gives a voice to rising Latinx artists each week. Follow our Nuevo Noise playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify.
Balún - "Los Problemas”
Puerto Rican dreambow sweethearts Balún have dropped two zoom performances via New Latin Wave’s IG TV, featuring fresh tracks like “La Salida” (which was released a few months back as a live session but never in studio form) and the fresh out of the oven, “Los Problemas.” The latter fits perfectly into the band’s tropigoth ethos, featuring pan flute, cuatro and Angelica Negron’s gauzy vocals all swirling over a malevolent bass line and layered percussion that will burrow into your ears for days. -Richard Villegas
Los Retros - "New Humanity"
Oxnard’s finest provider of contemporary lo-fi Chicano soul vibes is back after his successful run last year and he’s ready to get to the next level. As a sneak peek to Mauri Tapia’s new short collection of songs, he gives us a small treasure of a song that relishes in its vintage taste and orange-tinted nostalgia. The nearly instrumental “New Humanity” is full of jazzy soul goodness that leans hard to the crate-digger aesthetic that has made Los Retros a fittingly named project. -Marcos Hassan
Speak - “Conchita's Theme"
As is the Hair God’s modus operandi, the rest of Mexico City-based rapper Speak’s Homebody II EP is comprised of withering takes on today’s political turmoil. But there’s also something very timely about “Conchita’s Theme”, his ode to the kitten who has had his back throughout quarantine. “Watching me work/Cheering me on/Reading my mind/Oh you keeping me calm,” he delivers. Anyone else out there holding onto reality thanks to the best efforts of a favorite feline? -Caitlin Donohue
Ghetto Kumbé – "Sola"
Colombian Afro-futurist trio Ghetto Kumbé have unveiled a brand, new track titled “Sola,” delivering a fantastic anthem of cathartic dance floor therapy at a time of record high stress. Bouncing between digital percussion, marimba, Afro-Colombian bass drums and the group’s impassioned vocal chants, “Sola” is a poem, a prayer and a mantra, all encouraging listeners and dancers to hash out their anxieties through dance and leave their worries on the floor. -Richard Villegas
Ed Maverick - “Nos Queda Mucho Dolor Por Recorrer” (feat. Daniel Quién)
Mexican folk pop sensation Ed Maverick is finally unveiling the initial cuts off his upcoming album, teaming up with rising Sinaloa folkster Daniel Quién and producer Milo Froideval for one of his first forays into electronic instrumentation and robust studio magic. The rapturous “Nos Queda Mucho Dolor Por Recorrer” basks in the melancholy storytelling Maverick lovingly calls home, building slowly from stripped down acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies into a transcendent maelstrom of drums, electric guitar and pedal effects. -Richard Villegas
Sebastián Gereda - “No Sé Cómo Te Vi”
Originally from Lima, Buenos Aires-based artist Sebastián Gereda explores pop sensibilities on his solo output, and his most recent single “No Sé Cómo Te Vi” shows where he currently stands. Nodding at 90s R&B production, Gereda dedicates the song and its music video to one of his heroes, the legendary Charly García. Under this light, the lyrics can be interpreted as a sweet love letter to a fading star. -Cheky
MAJÍA – "Misti"
Peruvian zampona and quena instrument expel deep breathes on this driving track birthed through a collaboration between Philly producers Estoc and Precolombian, the latter the founder of queer club night Seltzer. The track comes from the duo’s cajón-driven Landocore EP released via Houston’s MAJÍA Records, a follow-up to last year’s album the two put out in conjuncture with APOCALIPSIS. -Caitlin Donohue
Alien Tango - "Arthur Conan Doyle"
Since we seem to be living in the most absurd of times in human history, we might as well be jamming to some appropriately weird music that will squeeze a laugh out of some of us. Alien Tango presents us with a bizarre ode to the author of the Sherlock Holmes books featuring an “Inspector Gadget Theme”-like synth riff and a ton of samples that somehow make sense in an askew way. “Arthur Conan Doyle” is a grand and sweeping piece of silly music that will fill you with joy. -Marcos Hassan
Riccie Oriach - “La Cuyaya”
Off from his latest Eduardo Cabra-produced album Mi Derriengue, Riccie Oriach’s new single “La Cuyaya” is a progressive song that feels like a fever dream. It goes from trap to bachata to metal to gagá, as Oriach sings about la cuyaya, which can be the bird itself or maybe an elusive woman he can’t have. Don’t miss its videogame-inspired video, which, together with the song, will set you off on a trippy experience. -Cheky
Jona Camacho - “Cuánto Vales”
Right after the intro track on Jona Camacho’s recently-released new album Memento comes “Cuánto Vales,” which sounds like a classic Motown number made in 2020. The song feeds from Camacho’s own story, as he deals with the pain of a past relationship where his significant other lived a secret life. -Cheky
Estereomance - “Seen City”
Former The Chamanas members Paulina Reza and Manuel Calderón, together with Adria Del Valle, are about to drop their debut album as Estereomance, which will include “Seen City,” their newest single. Sounding like a psych-pop interpretation of a Los Ángeles Negros jam, “Seen City” is a devastatingly raw breakup song that doesn’t hold back one least bit. They spell things O-U-T so there’s no misunderstanding: things are over. -Cheky
Agrupación Changó - "Entre Patia y Sanquianga"
With the Black struggle on the world’s front stage, hearing a song that proudly lifts a tiny part of Afro-Caribbean music history is a cause of celebration. Based on recordings made in Tumaco and the Telembe and Magüí rivers in Colombia by original players, “Entre Patia y Sanquianga,” features percussion and melodic motives that refer to warm sounds from the distant past. An ecstatic call and response chorus of voices bridge generations into something familiar and timeless at the same time. -Marcos Hassan