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.
Rincon Sapiência - "Todo Canto”
Over the last few years, Rincon Sapiência made a name for himself in Brazilian hip-hop thanks to his unstoppable thirst for music-making and a number of danceable, upbeat releases. In “Todo Canto,” however, he delivers a somber track with aggressive lines, exploring a path that sounds great in his bar-spitting. The sinister violins and crunchy snares playing the lead role in his new song draw from the utterly dark and pop-ish drill vague set by the likes of Pop Smoke and, more recently, Russ Williams’ and Tion Wayne’s “Body.” But under Rincon’s rapper-slash-producer lenses, the beat is much more a ground where he can play around with words and double-entendres—a typical aspect of his pen game. It’s like the song title itself, an afro-centered motto that means both everywhere and every chant. -Felipe Maia
YEИDRY feat. Damian Marley - “You”
It may be hard to keep track of YEИDRY’s feats these days. From an upcoming promise to one of the next big things in pop music, the Dominican-Italian singer has been working on a globetrotter pace, blazing a trail of new releases and high-scoring songs around the world over the past months. In her last stop, Jamaica, she’s sided by reggae master Damian Marley in the love-and-teasing lyrics of “YOU.” Showing off a much more mellow tone of her singing, YEИDRY flies over a chilled overdubbed beat while Damian drops his style of MCing with Kingston toaster hints. It’s a question and response game ready to overtake a couple of late summer charts and playlists. -Felipe Maia
Victor Internet - "One Day"
“One Day.” The throwback dance number will certainly put you up on your feet. But lyrically, Victor doesn’t hold back one least bit, as he calls out a girl in his life for sucking the joy out of everything with her self-centered attitude. You’ll be soon singing “I need an intervention,” and you’ll most certainly love it. -Cheky
Geo Equihua - "La Barca"
In a world desperately in need of tenderness, Geo Equihua’s new single “La Barca” comes as a welcomed antidote. Taken from her forthcoming EP Yo Soy Mi Casa, the song is a calm electronic lullaby that rocks us gently like waves in the sea, as the Mexican artist dedicates beautiful words to motherly love that has us teary-eyed. -Cheky
Dos Santos - “City of Mirrors”
A love letter to Puerto Rico after natural disasters have shaken the country in the past few years, Chicago’s Dos Santos invokes the ghost of Gabriel García Marquez to express their anger and sadness. The band takes a salsa groove and soaks it in acid rock influences to warp it into a melancholic dirge without sacrificing warmth. By keeping the groove slow and the instrumentation organic, Dos Santos manages to present empathy to a painful memory that remains very palpable. -Marcos Hassan
Madi Diaz - “Resentment”
In the video for “Resentment,” singer-songwriter Madi Diaz is seen walking around a junkyard—a staging that isn’t grandiose but reflects the themes in the song perfectly. There’s something very cathartic about Diaz’s weightless voice, and the subdued arrangements help express how breakups can feel like everything is falling apart. “Resentment” is like coming out of the wreckage and having hope that the light at the end of the tunnel might signal a bright future. -Marcos Hassan
Mare Advertencia Lirica + Son Rompe Pera + Ali Gua Gua - "Ay Que Cumbión"
Cumbia elation across the nation! “Ay! Ke Cumbión,” the latest single from Mexican cumbia, rock, and electronic agitator Ali Gua Gua is an unshakeable new jam combining hedonistic grooves from Mexico City, Veracruz, and Oaxaca. Recruiting the marimba-powered talents of Son Rompe Pera, glossy production from DJ Rambon, and incisive bars from Mare Advertencia Lírica, the hypnotic track imbues all the bawdy attitude of your favorite sonidero with a hefty dose of community heart. -Richard Villegas
Norwayy - “Anestesia”
Guadalajara shoegazers Norwayy are back with an angsty new single titled “Anestesia;” a frizzy-haired angst bomb drenched in pitch black bass lines and spectral wailing that’ll trigger a thousand goth dance offs. Building an immersive wall of sound on pedal distortion and droning drums, the band unloads guitar riffs sharp enough to cut through the haze of any heartbreak haunting their hearts. -Richard Villegas
Omar Apollo - “California Dreamin’”
Omar Apollo takes on the classic “California Dreamin’” by The Mama and Papas for his latest release as a part of Spotify’s Singles series. His cover choice, the singer-songwriter cites in a statement, was inspired by his obsession with the song via its mesmerizing use in Wong Kar-Wai’s Chunking Express. Recorded in Los Angeles’ East West Studios, the same studio as the original, Apollo’s reimagined rendition carries the same spellbound spirit while stripping down the famed sunny, folk-pop song into a hazy, seraphic acoustic serenade. -Jeanette Diaz
Marcos G - “Lights Coming Down”
With the release of his latest EP Looking for Something, Marcos G delivers his leading single and visuals for “Lights Coming Down.” An easy flowing, guitar driven melody congeals with his soulful vocals that get lost in the imagination of nostalgic memories. As the song goes on and its emotional build up intensifies, so does the rhythmic makeup that is infused with glimpses of the songwriters influence from ‘00s R&B, electronic synths, and latin forward percussion. -Jeanette Diaz