Shia LaBeouf Demonstrates Love on the Brink of Expiration & More in New Music

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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, every Friday afternoon.

Rainsford, “Love Me Like You Hate Me”

An artful take on a love scene opens up Rainsford’s video for “LMLYHM” and what follows is a masterful, emotive depiction of a romantic relationship on the brink of expiration. The duo, and viewer, go from breathlessly in love to argumentative and fearful of breaking. The beautifully choreographed rendition, by Ja collective, featuring Shia LaBeouf and Rainsford’s sister Margaret Qualley, is a reminder that music videos are not merely a thing to check off on a list of to-dos on release day—they’re an opportunity to give further, meaningful life to your art. Shia LaBeouf is not one to put himself in a box, and his artwork (plus forms) of choice can differ year to year. This surprise is a goodie. Meanwhile, Rainsford is one to watch. –Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

Casero ft Russian Red, “Cállate”

Casero, who became an instant favorite at Cuarentena Fest, has brought fellow pop singer Lourdes Hernandez aka Russian Red out of retirement. The minimalist bedroom pop tune “Cállate” shares the intricacies of a failed romantic relationship and the afterthought of what could have been a lie all along. “Callate” is the lead single off Casero’s first solo album slated to drop in late 2020. –Joel Moya

A Balsa, “Veraneio Temporal”

Brazil’s indie scene peaked in the 2010s. Several small venues opened all over the country and a number of music festivals were born. Also, nightclubs threw parties with live acts such as Holger or Dorgas and DJs who played LCD Soundsystem songs—all of that on the same night. This scene is not as brilliant as before but it’s not dead—it’s just underground again. The duo A Balsa proves that by linking Brazilian indie’s recent past and near future with “Veraneio Temporal.” The dream-pop, danceable song is made out of compelling harmonies built upon flaring guitar arpeggios and a diverse set of keyboard lines, from sparkling notes to cyclical patterns. The music video, a pretentiously surreal and hazy trip, gives the tone: the song can remind us of the North-American artist Washed Out, but it also sounds fresh and fun. –Felipe Maia

Camila Fuchs, “Come About”

Abstract electronic duo Camila Fuchs is gearing up to release their most ambitious collection of music to date and this might be their trippiest preview of what’s to come. Keeping their electronic side subdued, the duo finds its pace through a trip-hop beat, ‘60s psychedelic touches, and vocals that gleam full of melody, giving major Nancy Sinatra vibes. “Come About” is an intriguing track full of warmth and hallucinating soundscapes. –Marcos Hassan

Paul Marmota & Rosella, “Mírala”

Chilean production extraordinaire and NAAFI affiliate Paul Marmota joined forces with mysterious up-and-coming singer Rosella for an entire album titled Déjame Amarte, set to drop on Spain’s La Vendición. It’s first single, “Mírala,” features an ice-cold beat that is completely melted with Rosella’s sultry vocals and raunchy lyrics about passionate late-night sex sessions. These autumn days just got a lot hotter. –Algodón Egipcio

Neoma ft . Pastizales, “Vuelo 8110”

The phenomenon of bittersweet closures due to COVID-19 takes center stage on Ecuadorian artists Neoma and Pastizales’ new single “Vuelo 8110.” Named after singer-producer Pastizales’ untimely flight home from Buenos Aires, the track examines the sadness and euphoria of the pair’s impending reunion over soaring synth melodies and Neoma’s gauzy, angelic vocals. It’s a danceable, earnest reminder that every end is just a new beginning. –Richard Villegas

Flora, “A Emocionante Fraqueza dos Fortes”

Brazilian singer Flora performs in both tenebrous, gloomy rooms and overexposed open spaces here. She plays the role of shadows in some sort of Plato’s cave and the eternal duality of darkness-light is just a representation for her. In “A Emocionante Fraqueza dos Fortes,” Flora strips out the human condition recalling that it takes courage to show weaknesses. The song was produced by Wado, a well-known singer-songwriter in the Brazilian indie scene. Both he and Flora reiterate the lyrics’ dichotomy delivering a groovy, full-bodied bassline contrasting with upbeat guitar lines. The line where dictatorship rhymes with censorship may be a jabbing hint dropped by the artist to Bolsonaro’s Brazil. –Felipe Maia

Aquiles Navarro & Tcheser Holmes, “Pueblo”

Calling their album Heritage of the Invisible II makes it clear that, while not as explicit as in their free jazz/avant-poetry project Irreversible Entanglement, their socio-political engagement remains in full swing. Navarro and Holmes highlight the relationship of Afro-Caribbean music with the history of jazz as the trumpets and percussion slip into subtle nods to polyrhythm and genre-specific idioms that never miss the groove for two minutes of tuneful and daring music that you can dance or nod your head to. –Marcos Hassan

Jimah, El Cezar, Quantum Flush, “Freaky, Freaky, Friday”

Over the past few years, we have presaged the rise of Atlanta as the next haven for U.S.-grown perreo, and Venezuelan-American rookie El Cezar seems hellbent on confirming our suspicions. “Freaky, Freaky Friday,” his new collaborative track with Cameroonian singer, Jimah, and Ghanian-Ivorian producer Quantum Flush, is a delicious collision of reggaeton and afrobeat; a swirling, hazy account of a night of dance floor passion with the one that got away. Rivalries are late, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more fresh, exciting crossovers out of Atlanta. –Richard Villegas

Lidia Damunt ft. PUTOCHINOMARICÓN, “Bolleras Como Tú” (Remix)

Chenta Tsai is decidedly doing whatever the hell he wants, and we’re here for it. For his latest remix as PUTOCHINOMARICÓN, he went back to 2016, recovered Murcia artist Lidia Damunt’s biggest hit to date, “Bolleras Como Tú,” and brought it to this cursed 2020 completely overhauled. Originally a singalong-ready country tune, the song is now, thanks to Tsai’s production skills, an enormous lesbian anthem spat out of the PC Music universe. All of our hats are off to them both. –Algodón Egipcio

Lebanon Hannover, “Golden Child”

“Golden Child” is self-described as “an ice cold reply to the alienated world coming from two warm beating hearts.” The darkwave duo returns to bring unwanted joy to all the forever dark souls out there with this single. Its gloomy atmospheric sound and somber lyrics are reminiscent of early The Cure, Bauhaus, and Siouxsie and The Banshees. It indulges the listener into a state of trance. “Golden Child” is part of the newly-released Sci-Fi Sky album, out now under Fabrika Records. –Joel Moya

Kiana Ledé ft. Cordae & Ari Lennox, “Chocolate (Remix)”

Ledé’s “Chocolate” was one of the best offerings of her long-awaited debut album, Kiki. A little over six months later, the 23-year-old has released the deluxe version which includes a new, winded down take on the original. On it, we hear R&B “shea butter baby” Ari Lennox and Ledé in an equally seductive rendition of the original, with the artist’s voices melting into each other to the point where they’re hard to pick apart. Cordae is featured as a songwriter in this one. It can feel like an overwhelm of empty space in time at the moment feels paralyzing rather than stimulating creatively, but Ledé’s a reminder that you can be an informed voter, produce good art and make time to satisfy those inner cravings. –Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo