Every week, we highlight some of our favorite releases in a handy list. Although we try to cover as much new music as possible, there are so many stellar releases to talk about. Consider this our genre-diverse guide to songs we have on repeat.
ÌFÉ - "Voodoo Economics"
With mournful keys and bata beats, ÌFÉ’s “VOODOO ECONOMICS (Wolfman)” is driven by a percussion originally used to pay homage to the gods Yemaya, Ochun, and Chango. Here, lyrics render tribute to Adolf Wolfgang Siemon-Otero, a slain associate of musician and singer Otura Mun’s polyhedral electronic group. This is a precious and pressing funeral dirge that whisper-mentions Latin trap to a much older musical form; the song’s prayers soothe even as lyrics raise doubt in a system causing such loss of life. -Caitlin Donohue
Baby J feat. Pikete23 (Prod. Mlshbts) - "MNTP"
I’m extremely charmed by the whole J-PAIN collaboration EP from Chilean vocalist Baby Jey/J and producer mlshbts, who has returned after a quieter 2018 to thread through some of the sleeper R&B and trap tracks coming out of Chile these days. “MNTP” is my favorite song of the project though, mainly due to my high susceptibility to cartwheeling vocals, sexy lyrical reconciliations, and sunshine keyboard chords. –Caitlin Donohue
Debit - "The world is on fire"
Don’t tell me I’m the only one who has been meditating on the inevitability of chaos recently. This sweeping track from Debit took me far as a focus point. “The world is on fire (demo)” has swaths of locust plague feedback and full-throated vocals stretched into echo, which put me right onto a hero’s trek through a dumpster fire of a day. –Caitlin Donohue
Still Woozy - "Ipanema (feat Omar Apollo and Elujay)"
The track has a wavy take on bossanova, with the Oakland-based vocalist-producer Still Woozy’s trademark float packaged alongside pleasantly discombobulating Amiya Kahn-Tietz single art. Oak Town emcee Elujay and rising star Omar Apollo’s voices are smooth enough to begin to pay homage to the Brazilian sound, caressing as they do sweetly bleak nothings; “Roses grow in the darkness/I need you.” A recurring refrain mirrors the trio’s velvet shadow sentiment; “Love me like I’m six feet underneath the ground.” –Caitlin Donohue
Jon Z - "ICE"
These lyrics — and there’s a lot of them — are a hedonist, capitalist fever dream. Jon Z delivers a Dubai-based litany of brands and toys, his widely modulating voice set loose on a fashion fantasy flow in which one’s been invited to wear Jesus sandals while driving the gold Lambo. –Caitlin Donohue
Le Parody - “Europa”
Only a week before the imminent release of Le Parody’s new album Porvenir, the Malaga artists releases “Europa,” a dense track where she cries for the slow-motion demise of the old continent. If the recent Notre Dame fire could be made into a psychedelic electronic song, this would be it. –Cheky
José y el Toro - “De Hierro”
On his new single “De Hierro,” Venezuelan musician José y el Toro still uses bolero and trova as the raw material for his sentimental music, like he did on his 2015 debut album Retrato; only this time he entirely flipped the script instrument-wise, going full-on electronic troubadour. This poppy song sounds like falling in love, so naturally we want to hear it over and over again. –Cheky
Apache O’Raspi - “El Afecto Afecta”
Apache O’Raspi sure loves his classic rock n’ roll and 60s pop, and he’s one of the few who can still filter those genres to make something worth your time. On the playful “El Afecto Afecta,” the Mexico City-based, Torreon-born singer/songwriter turns the physical effects love has on our bodies into words and sounds, making the song a dizzying and joyful listen. –Cheky
Dromedarios Mágicos - "Los Niños"
Stepping away from the comfort of his acoustic guitar, Mexico’s biggest kid returned from a two year silence this week with a rocking new track titled “Los Niños” – an empathetic reminder that regardless of age, everyone carries emotional baggage even when you can’t see it. –Richard Villegas
Tuyo - "Conselho Do Bom Senso (Kel Remix)"
Brazilian soul balladeers Tuyo have released a new remix EP of their 2017 debut Pra Doer, infusing their intimate compositions with glitchy, danceable bombast. Kel’s remix of “Conselho Do Bom Senso” perfectly preserves the group’s soft-spoken earnestness while pumping the track full of baile funk vivaciousness and driving electro synths. –Richard Villegas
Milton James - "La Misteriosa Muerte"
Milton James is basking in all the glory of his post-Dënver solo career, and his new EP Pop Impresionista is yet another exquisitely woven tapestry of indie rock, chamber pop and disco. “La Misteriosa Muerte” brings all those influences together into one epic track, evoking twee gods of the late 90s and early 2000s like Belle and Sebastian and Neutral Milk Hotel. –Richard Villegas
El Shirota – “Tarde / Temprano”
As El Shirota’s star continues to rise, so does the polish and weight of every new release. Behind the blaring, fuzzed out guitars of “Tarde / Temprano” you’ll find an anxious meditation on the ways time seems to slip out of our grasp as we become older and burdened with responsibility. For a band on the edge of a career breakthrough, “Tarde / Temprano” sounds like a mournful look back at the narrowing gaps between adult commitments. –Richard Villegas
Los Frenessi - "El Rey Misterio"
If the movie Drive was a direct-to-video film set in 1970s Mexico City, this song would be the breakout hit from the soundtrack album. “El Rey Misterio” ticks all the right boxes for synthwave enthusiasts to feel warm and cozy, while kicking it up a few notches by inhabiting kitschy, funky territories that make it a fun and slightly sleazy track. The Aguascalientes duo knows how to take the party from the futuristic past and into the present. -Marcos Hassan
Lascivo Bohemia - "MDMA"
Like most fusion genres, ethnic electro-cumbia (or nu cumbia) is a hard thing to pull off successfully. Showcasing ancient music forms and instrumentation is one thing, but making it work with modern electronic forms is something different, and “MDMA” gives us a masterclass in how to do it. Quito, Ecuador’s Lascivo Bohemia knows how to keep millennial traditions alive, while making them work with current day technology – causing you to bump it like the club is at peak hours. -Marcos Hassan
ANTIFAN - "Sola"
The three members of Madrid’s ANTIFAN hail from Spanish hip-hop and trap scenes, but for their joint project they decided to look back at the sounds and influences that were running wild in their birth city 30 or so years ago. The sound is minimal, ticking with the precision of a drum machine, adorned with affected guitars and vibrating with menacing staccato synths for a melodic yet aggressive sound – like if Paralisis Permanente, Séptimo Sello or even Esplendor Geométrica decided to party instead of sneering their way through doom and gloom. -Marcos Hassan
Crazy Boys - "MEDALLA" Feat. Ryen
Crazy Boys have been pivotal in quietly shaping the Latin music scene in Chicago. Made up of Papi Beatz, who produced for Vic Mensa, Kanye West, TY Dolla Sign and more, and Grammy-nominated Stefan Ponce, Crazy Boys have been showcasing some of Chicago’s rising crop of talent and proving their production chops. On “Medalla,” they enlist Chicago vocalist Ryen for a sad-boy perreo banger. -Eduardo Cepeda