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.
Inner Wave - "Fine"
As “Fine” proves, Inglewood’s Inner Wave are not afraid of bops. Through a warped and sped-up vision, the Cuco-approved band lets you know they have their own unorthodox ideas of what makes a song go hard. “Fine” has enough hooks, interesting arrangements, and A-game playing to make for an undeniable, chilled-out pleasure that anyone who is adventurous enough could dig instantly. –Marcos Hassan
Melii - "See Me"
Lest you think this R&B ride from Harlem’s Melii signals a turn into softness by the rapper, you better stay focused. Bilingual lyrics may talk love, but more to the point, they’re about bad bitch road rules, hard deflections of soft feelings. Melii‘s just trying to sing a little, show how that her voice can stretch into all your auditory sweet spots. –Caitlin Donohue
Prince of Queens - "Merecutek"
You may know him as the synth savant bringing interstellar vibes to futuristic cumbia outfit Combo Chimbita, but Prince of Queens has a musical signature that is constantly evolving and expanding. “Merecutek” is a prime example of his exploratory production style, leading us through a sonic wormhole and into new dimensions of merengue-adjacent possibilities, sometimes veering into psych territory and then unexpectedly morphing into house music. –Richard Villegas
Fer Casillas - "Sanar"
R&B is rapidly emerging as the next major wave in Latin American indie, and Mexican vocalists like Fer Casillas are happily embracing the silky medium. Casillas has released a series of atmospheric tunes in the run up to her forthcoming EP Imágenes de Olga, out in January, and “Sanar” is the latest chapter on this journey as she explores the connection between two souls recovering from heartbreak and how that bond stimulates emotional healing. –Richard Villegas
VINÍ and Maffalda - "Putaria"
Those wondering about where São Paulo stands on late 2018 party beats may lean into this tangy crescendo by emerging producer VINÍ and Brabo Music Team’s Maffalda. –Caitlin Donohue
Edgar Mondragón - "Reflejo"
This Mexican electronic and ambient producer has released three projects in 2018 and Cristal, his latest, might be his most ambitious and best overall, as he continues to defy his own style. Without sacrificing his knack for exciting textures and detailed arrangements, “Reflejo” is a soundtrack-worthy downtempo composition that throws away genre trappings and aims straight for the listener’s heart. –Marcos Hassan
Gabriel Rammsy - "Paco de Lucía (feat. Gianluca)"
Chilean singer-songwriter Gabriel Rammsy has linked up with trap upstart Gianluca for a dreamy, delicious bop called “Paco de Lucía” that unfolds as an existential rumination on fate and the inevitable twists and turns of the universe. –Richard Villegas
Estanislao López - "Niza" ft. Rafaela Lia
Estanislao López is an important part of the Argentine underground scene, filling many roles as a musician, producer, and label manager. Now, with this double A-side single, he’s venturing to a musical quest of his own making. In his and guest vocalist Rafaela Lia’s hands, shoegaze is a lovely, effervescent experience, as sweet melodies glide throughout the fuzzed-out guitar grooves. This will get you swirling to another dimension. –Marcos Hassan
El Cuarto - “Hoy”
After spending years in hibernation, which cost them half of their lineup, Mexican-Argentine band El Cuarto return with a new stadium-sized single called “Hoy.” Now a trio, the former members of Monterrey collective Happy-Fi did a great job taking the anxiety and uncertainty of a relationship, and turning it into a poppy 80s-inspired dance number. –Cheky
Lianna - "Brilla"
Bogotá singer Lianna made an impressive comeback in 2018 with her second album Como el Agua, and her new single “Brilla” shows she’s still on a roll. With this CrazySexyCool throwback, Lianna calls for a celebration of female strength; women can get together and pull through bad experiences, and all while doing the butterfly. –Cheky
Sines ft. Buckamore - "Flores Riddim"
Whatever your previously held notions of what Houston hip-hop is, a new wave is breaking. Meditate on it courtesy of this collaboration between H-Town producer (and Santa Muerte Records and Majía co-founder) Sines with the perfectly husky-voiced rapper Buckamore, who find gold between wistful vocal sampling and an imminently rideable beat. “You say you want something that’s better than me?” Buckamore delivers a sensual chant that rids his subject of the notion. The track was only the teaser to Buckamore’s electrifying, Deltatron-birthed Waves EP (with a touch of SINES on track “HATERZ”) that also dropped this week. –Caitlin Donohue
Los Jardines de Bruselas - "Formas"
Trying to pinpoint the hazy sonic optimism of Los Jardines de Bruselas will lead you to an intersection between psych and dream pop, but the Argentine multi-instrumentalist, who’s been largely MIA since 2012, is far more interested in emotional impact than our need for labels. Though his new single “Formas” took nearly five years to complete, we are once again plunged into his world of gauzy introspection, this time with a meditation on the intricacies of aging and how our experience of the world changes with every ticking second of the clock. –Richard Villegas