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.
Ma-less - "Snack"
For those who want that “Yo Perreo Sola” posi-isolation energy with a woman’s name on the credits, here’s this track from Jamaican-Panamanian DJ Ma-less (pronounced “malice”). “Snack” pops out on her new three song EP Se Despertó La Diosa, produced by Saint (of Princess Nokia anthem “Tomboy” renown.) “Snack” is a swaggering vehicle for the kind of mid-set lyrics the Orlando DJ made standard at her five-year club residency Shake ‘n’ Bass. -Caitlin Donohue
El De La Guitarra - "Que Me Va Mal"
I would be lying if I had recommended this rousing dress-down of the haters based on its bouncy accordion riffs alone. More like, “Que Me Va Mal” is the first, simply-shot video that shows this previously masked corridos singer without his trademark mask or post-production digital distortion. Media reports say that El De La Guitarra first assumed his disguise to avoid potential conflict with family members over the content of his hard-living lyrics, if that was the case congrats to him on uniting the team behind his plan. -Caitlin Donohue
Empress Of - “Void”
Empress Of finally unleashed her third full-length, I’m Your Empress Of, and even when she’s taking us to the club, she wears her heart on her sleeve. “Void” is a Brazilian-inspired dance tune where she reminisces about a past toxic relationship. But her mom Reina, a guest throughout the album, reminds her she’s going to be fine. “You want to make yourself the woman that nobody is gonna mistreat,” she says, and we have instant goosebumps. -Cheky
Omar Apollo - “Imagine U”
Omar Apollo gets back together with frequent collaborator Kenny Beats to bring us his first 2020 single, “Imagine U.” The mid-tempo single is led by his skillful, funky guitar work, while he sings about an ex who has moved on. “I think we’re better as friends,” he sings, like he’s trying to convince no one but himself, but the resignation in his words is palpable. But hey, we can still vibe to it. -Cheky
Jean Dawson - “Power Freaks”
Dawson describes himself not as a genre bender but as a border hopper—a thesis statement explored across his urgent, shape-shifting catalogue. His latest adrenaline-pumping release is “Power Freaks,” a combustive examination of control and the ways keeping it can be as powerful and revitalizing as relinquishing it, built on soaring riffs, guttural wails and coupled with an equally thrilling video. -Richard Villegas
Salt Cathedral - "How Beautiful (she is)" ft. MC Bin Laden & Duendita
There is no song that a verse from MC Bin Laden can’t improve, and the lead single from this dream dembow duo’s CARISMA album is no exception. Queens-based singer Duendita completes the eclectic party, her beautifully gradated vocals providing a fascinating pairing for Salt Cathedral vocalist Juli Ronderos’ lilting voice. -Caitlin Donohue
Kablito - “Bye Bye Baby”
Self-quarantine probably can be credited with keeping some relationships put when they should remain over, as the chances to run into an ex or meet someone in a moment of weakness are reduced considerably. “Bye Bye Baby” might be the perfect anthem to go with this feeling. Ecuador’s Kablito delivers the soft dembow pop track with conviction and warmth instead of ire, reassuring herself how it’s relieving that she hasn’t seen her former lover or craved their touch. Late in the chorus she admits that it’s better her ex is not near her, making “Bye Bye Baby” a song for herself to stay strong instead of a kiss-off, which makes it an even better song. -Marcos Hassan
Hospital de México - "Ciudad Tropical"
Hospital de México is the latest project by Esteban Alderete, one of the most important figures in Mexico City’s underground scene, having previously spent time with industrial-dance trio Las Brisas and the noise rock duo Soledad. “Ciudad Tropical” does without much abrasiveness, music-wise, and imagines his urban surroundings swallowed into a tropical paradise where criminals will turn into waves as an eternal punishment. His voice and acoustic guitar arrangement sound more like a reassuring balm than a condemnation, like if telling us that a better, more absurd world is possible. -Marcos Hassan
NILLO - "Omi O!"
“Omi O!” starts out gently enough with some light-tapped percussion and minimal synth handling that could soundtrack a stroll through a strange and dark part of the jungle in search of a deeper truth we might have lost in times before civilization. The Costa Rica neo cumbia producer practices restriction as he drops a soft-thumping house beat and passionate chanting vocals late into the track, but the track doesn’t break into a party, rather it remains atmospheric, like a strange light keeping us safe at night. -Marcos Hassan
Cienfue - "Our Own Devices"
With “Our Own Devices,” Panama’s Cienfue has treated fans to yet another nugget of elegantly crafted, escapist funk-pop. Quirky and retro, the track builds on fuzzy rhythm guitar, fluttering synth stabs and a seductive hook that will spin in your mind for several days to come. -Richard Villegas
Prehistöricos - “Que Estés Bien”
Chile’s Prehistöricos are here to lift our spirit with their new single “Que Estés Bien.” A particularly lively moment in their discography, the song is heaven-sent in these moments of loneliness and self-isolation. The pop-rock track runs like a tender call to a friend or lover, only to see if they’ve slept or eaten well. It has us melancholically staring at our phone. -Cheky
Ánimo - "Fxck Marcos"
In these increasingly uncertain times, normality and sanity are often found in routine. For Diego Puerta ,aka Dromedarios Mágicos, aka the personification of musical ADD, normality is found in creating and performing music—leading Chihuahua’s rowdiest son to link up with newcomer Ariatna Velarde for a glimmering new slice of bedroom pop bliss called Ánimo. Writing, producing and dropping a self-titled EP on Bandcamp over the course of a weekend, tracks like “Fxck Marcos” capture innocence, stillness and remarkable restraint for a project born from exasperating isolation. -Richard Villegas