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.
Tainy x Yandel - “Deja Vu”
The two reggaeton heavyweights team up to release their first single “Deja Vu” off their upcoming anticipated collaborative album “Dynasty.” Providing a solid foundation for what’s to come, the track offers a steadfast, bass-heavy beat produced by Tainy, while Yandel hits the flows with a smooth demeanor. After 16 years of working together, the song showcases each artist’s inimitable talent to frame familiar rhythms with an infusion of reinvented life worthy of an intimate perreo, proving they continue to be trailblazing masters of their craft. — Jeanette Diaz
Rico Nasty - "Magic"
At this point, it’s just ridiculous to try to predict what Rico Nasty is going to drop next, so we’re down to go wherever she wants to take us. Her latest R&B/hip-hop single “Magic,” included in her forthcoming Rx mixtape, is mellow Rico: She’s in love, and nothing can touch her. You can hear her beam heartwarming with rays of gratitude as she guarantees her significant other they can always count on her. She has the magic. — Cheky
Nicole Zignago - “KARATE”
After a few years lending her pen-game to a handful of Latin hits, like Sofia Reyes’ “1, 2, 3,” Peruvian, LA-based Nicole Zignago is starting to make her way to the main stage. Her new single, “Karate,” follows her solo debut in 2020. Now, Zignago carefully delivers a mellow reggaeton beat with Japanese-inspired chords and raspy samples of swords and guns. The singer also showcases a striking dominance over her voice, wandering from delicate, airy verses to fierce, combative lines. “Karate” brings a young artist willing to navigate the waters of Spanish-speaking pop music, rolling out songs that are not ready-made products. — Felipe Maia
Eladio Carrion - "Problemas"
This Puerto Rican trap en español stalwart has made a name for being versatile yet hard-hitting. He proves he can’t be outshined even by stars like Bad Bunny and J. Balvin; however, Carrión truly is on his element when he’s freestyling. “Problema” is an effortless lesson in improvised lyrical flow that can be highly melodic without sacrificing heft. The rapper rides a drill beat that invites you to take a walk through his imagination and have a good time together. — Marcos Hassan
Mabiland - "WOW"
Quibdó-born singer and rapper Mabiland is back with a new album titled Niñxs Rotxs, and it comes with a single titled “WOW.” For this jam, she uses a sharp trap beat instead of her usual R&B/soul stylings to give us a hard pill to swallow, calling out the violence and impunity Black people face in the streets of Colombia. “Hagan al – go como hicieron con Floyd,” she cries, remembering that Black lives matter in her country too. — Cheky
Marqueza - "Blue"
Salt Lake City R&B chanteuse Marqueza is already following up her glossy 2021 EP, Omizu Diosa, with a fresh new track titled “Blue,” once again featuring lush electronic production from Adam Fuller. Conceived as an anthem of independence and personal resilience, Marqueza centers herself in a post-break-up narrative chiding toxic masculinity while embracing her own sensuality and a refreshing reggaeton-flavored sound. — Richard Villegas
Combo Chimbitia - “Mujer Jaguar”
New York Colombianos Combo Chimbita return with their latest single, “Mujer Jaguar,” a fiery and energetic track that leans into a grungier rock sound for the quartet but still emphasizes their familiar electro-synth infused psychedelic cumbia and frontwoman Carolina’s hauntingly mesmerizing vocals. The song journeys through waves of raging urgency and placated tonal rhythms to create a world of their branded tropical futurism set a flame between lyrics and melody. — Jeanette Diaz
Charlie Chimi - "Charlie Chimi"
Welcome to Charlie Chimi, the NY-based sandwich pop-up by Charlie Garmendia and long-time collaborator Boone. For starters, Chimi is the Dominican adaptation of a burger made with pan de agua, mystery meat that no one knows where it came from, and other local savory ingredients. Chimis are known to have the power of curing the biggest of “borrachera” after a long night at the club. Ask any party-goer in The Heights, and they will tell you about it.
“Charlie Chimi” is none other than the chimi joint’s jingle. The single is the advance of Chimi/Liquid LP, an adventurous collection of jingles and food-based expressions, slated to drop on July 23. — Joel Moya
Chicano Batman - “Dark Star”
Continuing their experiments in psychedelic soul-funk, Chicano Batman is back with another groovy slice of sunshine just in time for the summer. Yet, not everything is as bright as it seems. Unlike some of their similarly catchy songs of the past, “Dark Star” displays a darker shade lurking throughout the song just out of hearing, reflecting the lyrical theme of our existence in the darkest of possible timelines. — Marcos Hassan
The Zephyr Bones - “No One”
Ahead of a second album, the Barcelona band Zephyr Bones comes back with their first single since a few releases in 2017 and their 2015 album, Wishes/Fishes. Their return holds on to the style that made the group one of the catchiest debuts in Spain’s indie landscape. “No One” is a fast-beaten track with interlocked melodies jamming on funky basslines, disco drums, and breezy vocals. The music video — a trippy, oversaturated 70s forest dream — lives up to the song’s soft haziness. But don’t hit the stop button before it’s finished: The outro is a tasty blend of syncopated congas, Spanish guitars clashing with fuzzy chords, and ethereal keyboard lines. — Felipe Maia
Solo Fernandez - "Por qué Eres Así"
Dominican dance-rock bad boys Solo Fernández have finally unveiled “¿Por Qué Eres Así?” — their first new single since 2019’s delightfully prismatic Multicolor LP. Propelled by a driving guitar groove and a slick black and white music video, the song delves into the irreconcilable differences leading to the inevitable curtain call of an increasingly toxic romance. Sober and perseverant, the band urges the listener to resist the temptation of old habits and instead dance their way onto greener pastures. — Richard Villegas