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.
Bodega Bamz - "Jefe"
In which the Spanish Harlem rapper dissects the difference between santería versus selling one’s soul, code switching (“We speak in different lingos/Shaking hands with gringos”), and playfully flips around the significance of “the English channel.” Bodega Bamz has been around long enough to know what “jefe talk” sounds like, and this relaxed New York track sounds just like it. –Caitlin Donohue
Ce Qei - "Siento 15"
This MITEL DICO-affiliated rapper swings hard on his album released this week, Simbólico, and nowhere more than on this nostalgic smooth ride. Ce Qei comes through with the poetic metaphor – rappers morphing into rats chasing booby-trapped cheese is just one example of the lyrical show of force from the evolving DR hip-hop scene. –Caitlin Donohue
MNDFCK - "Línea" (feat. Fuego)
A glass elevator moving slowly through the floor in a darkened hotel lobby would give off about the same vibes as this collaboration between the Bronx producer-rapper and Fuego. The Fireboy’s verses are as well-oiled as ever; the groundbreaking trapero continues to ratchet up the atmosphere on any moody beat they give him. –Caitlin Donohue
Arca - "Fetiche"
People are into a lot of freaky stuff in this beautiful planet we call Earth. And after watching and hearing Arca’s 11-minute collection of “new material and edits” called “Fetiche,” hell, even we might be developing a fetish for pump-wearing plant-stomping to the beat of abrasive beats, heavenly pianos, and creepy laughter. When it’s right, it’s right. –Cheky
Mitú - "Los Ángeles"
Less than a year after releasing their futuristic Afro-Caribbean album Cosmus, Mitú are dropping their fourth album, Los Ángeles, next week. The weightless title track blends techno and house to paint an infinite landscape that passes before our eyes, showing places we think repeat themselves but are never quite the same. Get lost in these sounds for seven minutes. –Cheky
Uji - "Jenga"
On “Jenga,” Uji chants a multilingual prayer to open an inner portal inside of us, leading us to a scary and exciting journey to our very own essence. The first single off Alborada, the new album by the Argentine Lulacruza member, is suitable for an intense session of transcendental dancing. –Cheky
J Balvin - "Ambiente"
Empress Of - "Trust Me Baby"
Switching languages in music, at its worst, can feel clumsy and disjointed, but Empress Of gorgeously weaves English and Spanish verses together with barely a blink on “Trust Me Baby,” one of two songs she’s released this week. There’s no snag in the lyrics; the switch is as liquid as the woozy production, which gets a leg-up from Empress Of’s collaborator Cole MGN, a producer whose minimal hand that brings out all delicacy and dreaminess of her voice. –Julyssa Lopez
Latasha - "Sumpn"
With “Sumpn,” NY rapper Latasha pulls together a forceful portrait of her ability to marry hard-hitting rhymes with mature spirituality and self-love. The song starts with a chant that morphs into a trap-inspired beat — a red carpet for Latasha to launch verses that she says are a reminder that “you, as an individual, are magick and it’s impossible for anyone to remove you from your divine purpose.” –Julyssa Lopez
Brooker - "Feel Good"
Lux Raptor - "Error 404"
Running seven seconds longer than a minute, Buenos Aires producer Lux Raptor manages to fit an afternoon of chill beats in a confined space. Thanks to its feather-soft synths and trippy pace, “Error 404” will make you feel quite differently than the song’s jarring title. Let your head drift off into space. –Marcos Hassan
Megafauna - Querés Que Te Cuente un Secreto"
Somehow, all these elements shouldn’t work together. Guitars that cross into punk territory without getting too shreddy, 60s go-go rhythms and unrefined indie pop vocals, yet everything makes “Querés Que Te Cuente Un Secreto” an addictive slice of melodic bittersweet gloom, like sharing a secret with someone you can’t fully trust. You’ll find yourself hitting the play button over and over on this one. –Marcos Hassan