Nuevo Culture

RS Latin Music Picks: Week of May 4th

Could your quarantine playlist use a little more seasoning? Rolling Stone Latin selects some of the best new music releases from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Keep track of the latest in Latin via our playlist on Spotify.

Buscabulla, “Nydia”

The formerly New York-based, Puerto Rican duo Buscabulla celebrate a return to the island that raised them in their resplendent debut LP, Regresa. Overshadowed by the sobering aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Regresa marks a bittersweet comeback — followed by a gratifying, disco comedown. In their new single, “Nydia,” Berrios’ gossamer vocals graze the funky rhythm, as she sings verses haunted by solitude. Filmed on an iPhone 11 during quarantine, Berrios says “the video is a homemade psychological thriller about a woman struggling with feelings of isolation.” The video also stars the very woman who inspired the track: the Puerto Rican actress and singer of legend, Nydia Caro. Berrios encountered Caro by happenstance while out in Puerto Rico, then struck up an influential friendship. Says Caro in the new track, profound as an oracle: “The light comes after the greatest darkness. You can’t see the stars without a dark night.”

Natalia Lafourcade, Jorge Drexler, “Para Qué Sufrir”

Natalia Lafourcade’s 2015 version of “Para Qué Sufrir” was already a gem; a spare, aching meditation on a failed relationship. She rejuvenates the track with help from Jorge Drexler on her brand new album, Un Canto por Mexico, Vol. 1. The production is stunning, with shimmering strings and pretty horns that reach back to the gleaming sophistipop of the Sixties, the days of bossa nova and Burt Bacharach. Drexler’s voice tracks closely with Lafourcade, so the singers remain tightly knit even as the lovers in the song splinter apart.

Salt Cathedral featuring Duendita and MC Bin Laden, “How Beautiful (She Is)”

This Friday sees the release of Carisma: the stellar new album by Colombian-American indie pop duo, Salt Cathedral. In their latest single, “How Beautiful (She Is),” the twosome dip their toes into baile funk, with the help of Brazilian wordsmith MC Bin Laden, and soulful asides by Nuyorican luminary Duendita.

Victoria La Mala, Flor De Toloache, “Nada De Ti (A cappella)”

Thanks to Covid-19, this year’s Cinco De Mayo may have been the most low-key in its 158-year history. This week the urban banda diva Victoria La Mala gave her original, smoldering kiss-off track the a cappella treatment. This dreamy new rendition, outfitted with cutesy Memojis, was recorded at home with the help of La Mala’s New York mariachi sisteren, Flor de Toloache.

Monsieur Periné, Pedro Capó, “Mundo Paralelo”

“We’re trying to find a new horizon, different landscapes, different rhythms,” said Monsieur Periné’s Santiago Prieto to Rolling Stone on Thursday. The first taste of that new horizon arrived this week with “Mundo Paralelo,” a jaunty, percussive, reggae-tinged track about “the simple things in life,” said lead vocalist Catalina García. Those things include, but are not limited to, “walking on the grass barefoot, feeling the rain, and having fun with your dog.” “Mundo Paralelo” also features a husky verse from Pedro Capó, fresh off his billion-views-plus global hit “Calma.”

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Puerto Rican duo Buscabulla released their new album, 'Regresa' on Friday May 8th.

Mara Corsino