From slowthai to Myke Towers, Here’s What We’re Listening to This Week

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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.

slowthai – “MAZZA” (ft. A$AP Rocky)

Before dropping TYRON, his sophomore full-length coming out on February 5, slowthai gives us the album’s third single and, for this number, he tapped none other than Flacko himself, A$AP Rocky. Co-produced by the British rapper and SAMO, “MAZZA” is a straightforward but effective jam with a hard-hitting beat that sets the ground for slowthai and Rocky to go down the hill with no brakes, as they rap about going back to their old selves so they can stay in tune with who they really are. —Cheky

Myke Towers, Jay Menez, De la Ghetto, Lyanno – “Cuando bebe”

An all-star team joined forces for Hear this music’s “Cuando bebe.” The label directed by Mambo Kingz and Dj Luian paired up with Kingz Daddy, dropping a multi-artist collab including the new wave’s freshest and influential players like Myke Towers with the classic pitches of De la Ghetto. Opening up with the vocals of Jay Menez and Lyanno, the track slowly builds to a pop-reggaeton. Sprinkling the eclectic vocal ranges of De la Ghetto and Myke Tower’s straightforward lyricism, the song illustrates the unique development of a woman’s personality or sensual alter ego of sorts. —Jennifer Mota

Pedro Sampaio ft. Luan – “LARISSA”

Larissa is Anitta’s real name and this is, let’s say, an ode to the Brazilian popstar—or her alter-ego. Pedro Sampaio, one of the top-tiers pop producers from his generation, blasts his way through the track with a catchy boom-bap beat reshaped with modern hip hop textures. Along the bridges, he also gives us a zest of baile funk so Larissa can unveil Anitta’s moves in the music video. —Felipe Maia

Saweetie ft. Doja Cat – “Best Friend”

Let’s just say this went straight to the pre-litty gatherings, post-pandemic playlist. Saweetie and Doja Cat are two freaky, independent boss besties in this sultry, fun trip of a song that’s a straight trail of hype. “I’ma hype her every time, that my mother f***in friend,” Saweetie says. Its video pairing is a wild ride in which Dave Meyers directs the two from a tanning session to a skinny dip dive that, unlike this song, is sure to be a painful flop. The song comes ahead of Saweetie’s debut studio album Pretty Bitch Music. It’s the bedazzled lux car and the healthy friendships that grow together for me. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

Mora Riel – “Mil Días”

Argentine musician Mora Riel is better known for her role in the duo Riel, which practices an original strain of energetic and skronky psych rock, yet for her first solo effort, Mora has taken another route. Arming herself with electronic beats, spare instrumentation, and ultra-melodic vocals, Mora ventures into neo-soul-influenced pop. The result is “Mil Días,” a melancholic lo-fi song that captures the all-too-familiar feeling of time slipping by. —Marcos Hassan

Oferenda – “Alumbramiento”

“Alumbramiento,” the striking debut single from Puerto Rican afro-fusion ensemble Oferenda, is an astonishing meditation on the universal magic of childbirth and the transcendence of motherhood. Melding electronic production with yoruba chants and percussive elements of afoxé (a rhythm native to Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil), the song is a remarkable snapshot of the countless cultural intersections woven into a greater Latin America identity. —Richard Villegas

Juyè ft BK, Thiago Jamelão – “Menina”

Born and raised among the parakaña Indigenous group, Juyè moved to Rio when she was ten. After a few years of singing and piano practicing at the city conservatory, she started to hang with the Piramide Perdida crew—one of the most exciting hip-hop collectives/label in Brazil today. “Menina” is a single from her first album, yet it has the tone of a polished work of an experienced artist. It’s a summery made-in-Brazil afrobeat with flavourful vertical dialogues between guitar chords with great deliveries by BK and Thiago Jamelão—two young and talented musicians that have released great works in 2020. —Felipe Maia

Rawayana – “2020”

Although it was written within the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, “2020” is a beautiful condensation of what Rawayana learnt during the troubled year and what they’re sending up to the universe for this 2021. After releasing their latest single “Mi Amigo Luis,” the Venezuelan collective continues to push their sound with “2020,” now showcasing a more dramatic, atmospheric side with help from a long list of friends (Orestes Gómez, Lolita de Sola, Romina Palmisano and more). They urge the world to slow down, take care of each other, and just breathe. —Cheky

Le 1991 – “Muy Pronto Para Salir”

After the challenge that was living through 2020, we sure need some motivation to get through another year, and what better way than with an ebullient and melodic guitar onslaught? The Aguascalientes, Mexico-based duo Le 1991 bring us an epic indie rock song that brings us jangle pop energy while also taking their instrumentalism to the stratosphere for a slightly dissonant elation. Perhaps 2021 won’t be a smooth ride, but thanks to music this evocative and exciting, it can feel easier at times. —Marcos Hassan

Parquesvr – “Barba Esconde Papada”

Spanish punks Parquesvr have built a career on questioning every aspect of our society—from government to capitalism and… beards? Yes, the convulsive Madrileños released “Barba Esconde Papada” just in time for Three Kings Day, delivering a bone-crunching, hilarious and entirely factual dissection of the camouflaging properties a beard can bestow upon a man’s face. —Richard Villegas

jonás – “Tatuaje”

Inspired by multi-genres, these artists create hybrid sounds that awaken sensuality in a way that’s unique from what’s playing on the airwaves. Jonas Alberto Mercedes, artistically known as jonás, a multi-hyphenate musician whose crepuscular production ¿por qué no? creates the ultimate baby-making music playlist built around forlorn echoes, relaxed tempos, and ominous intoxicating sounds. For “Tatuaje,” his smooth, lush mystique style of vocal arrangement evokes a new meaning to the sexual product “hickey.” “Things are always going to mark you after sex; you’re marked by a person after you share something romantic,” he tells Remezcla. “It’s not just sex; it’s also the internal wants of fire and desire.” —Jennifer Mota