Nuevo Culture

14 New Songs to Listen to This Week From Lenny Tavárez to Caloncho

This is a weekly compilation of bite-sized song and EP reviews from our music writers. Discover new favorites, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases, and more. Some of the featured artists this week include Lenny Tavárez and Anitta, Caloncho, and Joyce Santana. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

Lenny Tavárez, Anitta – “QUE VAMO’ HACER?”

Produced by Ovy on the Drums, Puerto Rican artist Lenny Tavárez and the Brazilian pop sensation Anitta deliver a softer, more “cursi” side to them with “QUE VAMO’ HACER?” The music video, directed by Laura Castellanos, shows us how passionate, careless, and playful a casual relationship can be through VHS-styled intimate recordings. Throughout the scenes, we see the duo at a liquor store — flirtatiously dancing –  all working towards a steamy in-bed shot. “QUE VAMO’ HACER?” is the closing segment of Tavárez’s Krack album era, who is now preparing for his next step. And, truthfully, with Anitta’s feature alone, it already has us hooked and ready for what’s to come. — Jeanette Hernandez

Caloncho – “Naranjita sí carnal”

Ciudad Obregón musician and singer Óscar Alfonso Castro (aka Caloncho) stays true to his “live life to the fullest” ethos on his latest mezcal-fueled jam, “Naranjita sí carnal.” The singer is known for his mellow and hazy sun-soaked melodies, but here, he victoriously pivots to a buoyant, up-til-dawn dose of synth-pop. The single soundtracks a playful back-and-forth between friends wanting to keep the party going and a somewhat hesitant Caloncho before he embraces the spontaneity of the present; ”Lo de hoy es mágico /El presente báilalo /Y me siento eufórico, natural.” — Nayeli Portillo

Joyce Santana, Young Miko – “Besties”

Contributing an entry into the canon of excellent songs about mythical creatures of the nightlife, Joyce Santana dresses the tale of two girls looking for a good and dangerous time in futuristic synth blips and bloops. Santana delivers his lines with a wink while guest Young Miko kicks the energy up a slight notch while riding the head-bopping drill beat. “Besties” gives us a nihilistic party with a melodic demeanor. – Marcos Hassan

Meth Math – “Fantasía Final”

Hermosillo, Sonora’s eldritch perreo ghouls Meth Math have dropped their excellent new EP, m♡rtal, impressively evolving the unique brand of mutant reggaeton and hyperpop-infected beats they debuted back in 2020. On the apocalyptic “Fantasía Final,” heartbreak reverberates into world-ending chaos narrated by singer Angelica Ballesteros, whose gauzy vocals float eerily over trip-hop flavored beats by producers Error.Error and Bonsai Babies.  – Richard Villegas

Bianca Oblivion – “Respira”

Opening the latest compilation by the French label Couvres Chefs, “Respire” is another club banger by DJ and producer Bianca Oblivion. The LA-based artist chops up vocal samples and adds an impressive multilayer of drums along with a crescendo bassline. As the track’s title says, “Respire” is all about breathing in and out on a dancefloor. — Felipe Maia

Katzù Oso – “Don’t Ask Why”

Los Angeles-based artist Paul Hernandez loves to give us an ‘80s throwback moment with his Katzù Oso moniker, but for his single “Don’t Ask Why,” he goes back an extra decade to sprinkle his brand of bedroom pop with a ‘70s flair. Co-produced by Charlie Brand (Miniature Tigers), David Garza (Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten), and Hernandez himself, the track finds him exploring his beautiful falsetto and showcasing his impressive songwriting skills. He goes from one end of the emotion range to the other, trying to figure out why his love interest doesn’t reciprocate. – Cheky

Seiji Oda – “aero 3”

Seiji Oda brings us to a serene and centering point of reflection with his latest single “aero 3.” The Japanese-American and Panamanian artist plays with a mixture of genres, with the track landing on a fusion of melodic alt-R&B mixed with Bay Area-inspired hip-hop beats. Through a gradient analog ambiance to emphasize an indie vibe, the young artist navigates through a meditative reflection of his life and the importance of centering self-care as a catalyst for moving forward. Throughout the calming exploration, there is peaceful settling in learning to embrace and express gratitude for those who have played a part in and continue to walk alongside his journey. Jeanette Diaz

Beam, Pablino – “BOW”

The Mexican-born trap artist Beam released the bilingual hype hip-hop track “Bow” produced by Pablino. With attitude, edginess, and an overall badass persona, Beam delivers a catchy track, noticeably influenced by West Coast sounds and the overall American trap scene that’s been mainstream over the course of the last five years. “Bow” is part of Beam’s upcoming EP goyard, which will soon be released under Mexico-based Slowly Entertainment, the record label that showcases young artists who are authentic, bold, and passionate about their craft. — Jeanette Hernandez

Catalyna – “Catalyna la O”

Puerto Rican singer Catalyna pulls zero punches on her latest endeavor, the ever-absorbing “Catalyna la O.” The track samples former Fania All-Star and salsa singer Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez’s “Catalina La O,” as the 22-year-old Boricua emerges with back-to-back, clever one-liners and lyrical flexes big enough to silence anyone not rooting for her. It’s set against a lurching, booming bass that it’s sure to make the walls shake when played on full blast. –Nayeli Portillo

Lila Tirando a Violeta & Nicola Cruz – “Cuerpo Que Flota”

On paper, Lila Tirando a Violeta and Nicola Cruz stand in opposite corners of electronic dance music. The Uruguayan producer’s melodic and slightly gothic style clashes with the Ecuadorian veteran’s peaceful and ancestral vibes. However, “Cuerpo Que Flota” proves that they are two sides of the same coin, meeting on common ground by concentrating on the beat and keeping things experimental and kinetic. It’s amazing to hear two masters finding a new way to get bodies moving. – Marcos Hassan

Jose Yellow, Axel Ghxst – “Dejate Ver”

Nimble Boricua rapper Jose Yellow has been putting in the hard miles for years, flowing between trap and reggaeton bops and perfectly showcasing his polished performance skills on new, longing single “Déjate Ver.” Following up on last year’s wildly catchy “Normal,” Yellow has once again linked up with producer Axel Ghxst, this time turning up the romantiqueo to full blast while reminiscing on late night text messages and even later grinding sessions. – Richard Villegas

Bruno Kroz – “QUEBRANDO E AMASSANDO (feat. Kbrum)”

Proving that Brazilian grime is more a blooming scene than just a fad, labels like Leigo Records keep supporting up-and-coming MCs and bar-spitting veterans. The collective’s latest release is a collab by Bahia-based Bruno Kroz and Kbrum, an artist that has been a longtime figure in Jamaica-infused music of Rio’s suburbs (aka Jamaicaxias). In “Quebrando e Amassando,” they blend baile funk and grime flow along ANTCONSTANTINO and BBzão reversed kicks and sturdy atabaques. — Felipe Maia

Pahua & WX//CLTV – “Mujer del Desierto”

After working together on singles like “Caramelo” and “O Vas O Voy,” Mexico’s Pahua and Canadian producer WX//CLTV join forces one more time for a new emotional dance number called “Mujer del Desierto.” A pounding beat with a weightless feel, the song is an ode to mothers, their strength, and how they invest themselves in trying to better their surroundings, a message that comes just in time to kick off Women’s History Month. – Cheky


Daniel Valle-Riestra, previously half of Animal Chuki, resurfaces with a new solo project, QOQEQA. Branding this new chapter brings lead single “Xi” — a track quenched in mysterious and enigmatic sounds that read like a sonic acid trip. Psychedelic rhythms and percussion-forward beats find their place playing as a sort of transformative dance between delicate light vibrations and the darkness nestled in the song’s more abrupt sharpness. The faint vocals are borrowed from the sounds of an isolated Amazonian tribe who are rejoicing in the reunion with their loved ones, once presumed dead turning the single into a ceremonial experience. – Jeanette Diaz