This is a weekly compilation of bite-sized song & EP reviews from our music writers. Discover new favs, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases & more. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.
Jacks Haupt – "3AM"
Jacks Haupt makes an official debut with her latest single and anticipated video for “3 AM.” A hypnotizing blend of sultry vocals elastic neo-soul here as the singer takes us on a journey of a lover whose love always seems to be caught up in late night rendezvous. Directed by Ambar Navarro and inspired by a whirlwind trip to LA, the accompanying vampire-themed video with an ethereal retro glow, asserts Haupt is unafraid to succumb to the more romantically delicate side of things, but at the end of the day, or early morning, she will always be the one to remain in control. —Jeanette Diaz
Rauw Alejandro – “Todo De Ti”
Reggaetonero Rauw Alejandro trades in his established musical roots for an experimental new funk-inspired, alt-pop direction on latest “Todo De Ti.” The Puerto Rican artist does not disappoint in his quest to create a perfect song for the summer. With nods to disco era influence, Alejandro visually takes us into the world of roller disco, complete with a Shaquille O’Neal cameo. Grab your skates because this groovy love song is guaranteed to take its feel good vibes and make its way to all dancefloors and roller rinks this summer.—Jeanette Diaz
Deekapz – “Confesso”
“Confesso” is a downtempo, soulful track that would be a blast at a Soulection show or relaxing, impromptu open-air party. The vocal shots, bumping basslines and soothing melodies frame out an ideal pick to pair with that special Kaytranada hit on the mix. Deekapz is one of the most creative projects that’s emerged in the recent Brazilian electronic music scene. The duo has grown from the chill baile SoundCloud community to the main stage of festivals and international tours in less than five years. More confident than ever in their music-making, Deekapz released their EP Ensaio sobre Você in May; “Confesso” excels as a top-track. —Felipe Maia
Nick Pagan – "Hardly Use My Hands"
Like California summer afternoons, some things are comforting no matter when you experience them. The same can be said about Nick Pagan’s new joint, a timeless song marked by winks to the past. “Hardly Use My Hands” evokes ‘60s soul and ‘70s R&B as if time traveling through Soundcloud. The result is a track that nitpicks elements from different styles yet feels warm and exciting. —Marcos Hassan
Katzu Oso – “Amor Extraño”
Sometimes finding love means taking risks. Katsu Oso knows this, that’s why his new ode to a lost lover gambles and scores.. The uptempo ballad “Amor Extraño” features acoustic guitars and trumpets that are assembled in an unusual way to deliver a sentimental yet starry-eyed sentiment. Like the strange love that gives the song its title, the music of “Amor Extraño” shouldn’t work so well yet it does, extraordinarily. —Marcos Hassan
Anitta ft. DaBaby – “Girl From Rio”
Adding to their individual lists of iconic collabs, Dababy joins forces with Anitta on “Girl From Rio.” The international collaboration is fully in English, and is a preview of her next album. After conquering the Brazilian for over a decade, the singer drops this release through Warner Records, ready to conquer the anglo market. Sampling 1962’s “Garota de Ipanema”—a Brazilian bossa nova and jazz song known worldwide—the song is a tribute to Brazilian women as well as an emblema of the globalization taking place in the industry.—Jennifer Mota
Tokischa & Nino Freestyle – "MALA"
DR’s poster child of “el desacate,” Tokischa is back with a slow jam collaboration with up-and-coming rapper Nino Freestyle. “Mala” is one of the most relatable songs Tokischa has released so far; overcomed by the emotional ups and downs of casual sex, she decides she’s ready to settle down with a “tigre” that will provide that much needed romantic stability. —Joel Moya
JFab & Paola Fabre – “Dame un Chance”
There’s a fresh new phase in bachata, and the multi-hyphenate duo JFab and Paola Fabre are proving that they have what it takes to further push the sound to new heights. With the release of “Dame un Chance,” a smooth, progressive bachata with R&B touches, the composers, producers and performers take inspiration from other genres to create a fusion enriched with the traditional foundation of the tambora and guitar. Their 7-track EP Pa ‘Que Te Duela, incorporates the nostalgic and classic essence of the genre while introducing new styles, lyrical delivery and narrative tropes.—Jennifer Mota
Los Cotopla Boyz - “El Peruanito” Santiago Navas & Instinto Curti Remix
Among Colombia’s new generation of cumbia visionaries, Los Cotopla Boyz found an intriguing middle ground between camp and musical experimentalism on their 2020 debut album Mamarron, Vol. 1. With an accompanying remixes album looming on the horizon, the group has unveiled a reimagining of their track “El Peruanito” helmed by producers Santiago Navas and Instinto Curti, who bring dub riddims and echoing vocals to elevate the project to cosmic new heights.—Richard Villegas
1982 – "Amistad Club"
After a four-year hiatus, Ecuadorian synthpop outfit 1982 are back with a brand new single titled “Amistad Club;” polishing their prismatic, nostalgic sound and infusing it with a healthy dose of social commentary. Poking fun at the countless influencer wannabees breaking their backs to keep up appearances on social media, 1982 perfectly captures the exhaustion of living in a digital mirage, even if said mirage offers occasional respite from our crumbling reality. —Richard Villegas
Marrón – "Under The Moon"
Marrón just dropped his sparkling new album in and standout track “Under the Moon” is cold, hard evidence of the Brooklyn-based Mexican producer’s evolution towards elegant, refined electronic pop. Sitting fourth in the album tracklist, the song gradually builds up without losing restraint, always grounded by a restless bass line. Marrón softly croons about making the same mistake, searching for answers, and learning lessons over a carefully confected beat, and it all clicks. —Cheky
Mariposa – “Callan"
Mariposa is a Colombian-Italian rapper raised in Amsterdam making drill en español, so we already know there’s nothing conventional about her, but she’s letting us know it anyways on her new single “Callan.” A skipping, icy beat produced by Cozart & Bolo sets the mood, and Mariposa comes right in, stinging like a scorpion, with sharp lyrics about taming her inner voices with weed and rebelling against the norm, and she even has time to throw some shade at an ex. This girl isn’t joking. —Cheky
Skeptic & Villano Antillano –“Toro Mecánico” (Prod. by Giio)
In his near-decade long indie career as a rapper, Skeptic has spit verses in just about every style of hip-hop there is, from hardcore and acid rap to conscious rhymes and irreverent comedy lyrics. Here, he puts on his reggaetón hat and perreo pants and treats us to a banger alongside Villano Antillano who made waves themselves a few months ago with the single “Pájara.” Here, the two quietly make a statement and demonstrate there’s nothing to make a fuss about when you simply accept people for who they are—all while making you shake your ass. —Juan J. Arroyo
Los Rarxs ft. Orteez - “Poca Ropa”
One month after debuting their new EP, Dos de Una, Los Rarxs now drop a music video for its lead single “Poca Ropa.” The track crosses off all the checkmarks of what makes them such an exciting sound, juggling aggressive rhymes with sexy vocalizations, all while floating over seductive chillhop beats from producer Orteez that makes their unique sound stand out from the field. The video itself makes you question who’s haunting who. Plus, is the memory of the girl what they can’t let go, or is it that she can’t shake them from her mind? —Juan J. Arroyo
Amenazzy & Jay Wheeler – “Salió”
Remember when, in 2015, Drake took the world by storm with his overtly catchy, whining “Hotline Bling?” Let’s just say that “Salió” is that same story, but told from the girl’s perspective. And I’m sorry Drake, but Amenazzy and Jay Wheeler’s take on that goes by the old saying in which it’s better to be alone than in a bad company. With a velvety reggaeton beat, the Dominican-Puerto Rican duo finds a sweet spot that accepts both tender-hearted singing and gentle rapping. Less than a week since its release, the song is already holding a place on the top charts. -Felipe Maia