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.
El Shirota - "La Ciudad"
What happens after you make a huge passionate racket and the world clamors for more? In the case of Mexico City’s El Shirota, the answer is to make music that’s both emotional and nostalgic. With “La Ciudad”, the band finds their groove and pays homage to the indie and alt-rock of the 90s they grew up on, as heard on their spiky and angular guitar lines and Cobain-esque melodies. The dynamics presented in the song suggest the many moods of the city: going from chaos to familiarity to tension and finally the relief of knowing you have been home all along. As a bonus check out the gloriously D-grade cowboy-themed video, it’s hilarious. -Marcos Hassan
Ynfynyt Scroll - "Heaven"
I don’t care if it’s quarantine, I live for a warm weather Ynfynyt Scroll mixtape, and even better that Privadito now fulfills all my expectations for solo anxiety dance parties. Here, we find the Bogotá-based producer and co-founder of the Putivuelta parties at his most ridiculous, having somehow achieved the feat of making DJ Sammy’s 2002 club-ification of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” even more camp? I don’t know how he did it and I’m so glad that it happened. -Caitlin Donohue
Ambar Lucid - “Cambia”
In many ways, Ambar Lucid’s debut album Garden of Lucid sounds like an upgrade of the homemade stylings of her initial output, but among these pristine productions floats the weightless “Cambia.” Ambar Lucid goes up and down her vocal range in both English and Spanish to shower a loved one with her gratitude, leaving our hearts full when by time the song ends. -Cheky
Lia Nadja - “Elemento”
In between so many trend-hoppers nowadays, it’s refreshing to step into the vision of an artist who is interested in building her own sonic world, welcoming us into their peculiar sensibilities. Chile’s Lia Nadja develops a sound that spans experimental electronics with child-like melodies, as heard on “Elemento” which seems both avant-garde and fairytale ready. Through the use of droning soundscapes, twinkling Casio-like keyboard tones, and naive melodies, this lo-fi music becomes an intimate conversation with an artist inviting you to escape from our reality. -Marcos Hassan
Wasted Fates - "Mind and Spirit"
The NAAFI and Extasis Records-affiliated producer took a turn during this shelter-in-place eon, and has founded a new label to self-release an EP of two long New Age tracks meant to facilitate mental clarity. Long life to Wasted Fates’ new venture Physis, which I hope will continue to specialize in meditation soundtracks because we live in whacked out times. The cut off the Illuminations EP called “Mind & Spirit” let my currently fragile gray matter escape this reality for 17 minutes into a series of pleasurable and somewhat emotional portals, etc., etc. -Caitlin Donohue
Los Volks - "Vitral"
Brazilian indie rock band Los Volks have released a delightful new slice of easy breezy guitar pop titled “Vitral,” an ode to reclaiming the emotional vulnerability adulthood often robs from us. Featuring syrupy guest vocals from Paraguayan singer Dahiana Samudio, the song flows with delightful ease—a respite from manic hit-making bombast, instead offering comfort in simple, palatable melodies. -Richard Villegas
Tessa Ia - "Cariño"
Actress turned brooding pop star Tessa Ia has unveiled her latest EP, Breve II, overflowing with gems of cabaret rock that sound like a theatrical collision of Marcela Viejo moodiness and Silver Rose riffs. EP opener, “Cariño” is a poetic, longing rumination on a love that goes against the odds, where Tessa Ia’s silky vocals glide effortlessly over seductive bass lines and flairs of castanets, tambourine and vintage organ chords. -Richard Villegas
Las Extintas - “Los Ombligos”
Armed only with an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and their voices, Astrid Ávila and Bibiana Rojas recorded their eponymous EP as Las Extintas earlier this year, and between its protest rhymes lives “Los Ombligos.” Beautifully written as a copla, the song is a bitter tale of secret lovers reverting to being just friends as passion fades away like writing in the sand. -Cheky
Malagradecida - Mora, Big Soto, Rafa Pabon
A rueful string of barbs at an ex-partner gets strung together by PR emcees Mora and Rafa Pabón alongside Venezuela talent Big Soto. The single from Puerto Rican label Rimas Music is marked by Pabón’s lo-fi trap hook, but Big Soto shines in his own equivocating verse, which asks with urgent repetition “Quien te va querer más que este perro fiel?” -Caitlin Donohue
Rico Nasty - “Popstar”
Following her previous single “Lightning,” Rico Nasty continues exploring her softer side with “Popstar.” Here, Rico breaks down the pros and cons of being a popstar—or a rockstar, or a hip-hop star—which have all become the same over time. Money, relationships, touring and even clothing; she tackles all that in a little over three minutes in the key of trap, opening a window into her new normal. -Cheky
Eladio Carrión & Alvaro Díaz - “Mírala”
A dose of malevolent perreo from urbano powerhouses Eladio Carrión and Alvaro Díaz, “Mírala” is a classic tale of naughty girl antics teaming with dance floor peacocking and x-rated motel rendezvous. The track’s bass heavy synths and stripped down dembow beat pair perfectly with the expertly delivered baritone bars from both MCs, producing an intimate, almost restrained banger to soundtrack future weekend adventures. -Richard Villegas
Cariño - "Excusas"
Man, can Cariño load a guitar riff with emotion; just dive into the meteoric Spanish trio’s latest angsty earworm, “Excusas.” Opening on confessional vocals and single waves of distorted guitar, the track builds gradually, injecting pulsing bass lines and shimmering synths that mirror the tense, clammy-handed story of a budding romance where lovers dream up the most preposterous excuses just to spend a little while longer in each other’s arms. -Richard Villegas
Cholula Dans Division - “Minimono”
Although this Puebla, Mexico electronic duo has been around for just a few short years, they have already covered a lot of ground in that short time, exemplified by tracks that range from downtempo club showstoppers to ambient pieces of bliss. “Minimono” shows us yet another aspect of CDD, an acid house anthem with catchy synth lines and ecstatic sound effects that recall the golden age of raves. Beyond paying homage to the past, they adapt the sound to our post-modern times, reminding us that nights are the perfect excuse to dance, global lockdown or not. -Marcos Hassan