YENDRY’s Done Fighting for Love, Angelo Reeves Anticipates Post-Pandemic Life & 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.

Yendry and Mozart La Para – “Se Acabo” ft. Mozart La Para

Revisiting feelings of a failed relationship on “Se Acabo,” YEИDRY illustrates the moment one’s subconscious thoughts solidify and overpower the willingness to fight for a non-existent love. The soft, melodic number features Mozart La Para, and the video displays a Caribbean homecoming of sorts for the Dominican singer. Directed by Kieran Khan, the footage was filmed in the barrio that raised her before migrating to Italy: Herrera, Santo Domingo. The vibrant colors of the homes and other artistic references to Dominican culture like the traditional colmado or bodega found in any block are exemplified in the visuals. —Jennifer Mota

Angelo Reeves – “Juice”

For his latest R&B-tinted jam “Juice,” Venezuelan artist Angelo Reeves borrowed inspiration from Biggie’s 1994 track “Juicy” to bring us joy in these gray days of quarantine. Produced by Tony Hanzo, Reeves anticipates the post-pandemic times, giving us hope to embrace our friends in the club again, as he sends good vibes out to the universe to see if that collective wish comes true sooner than later. —Cheky

Torya, Bié, uzzn – “Mandrake”

Mandrake is a somewhat new slang in São Paulo’s favelas used to describe a guy who always sorts himself out—a confident, fashion OG who cleverly knows the ways and crossing paths of social rules. That’s the character depicted by the young singer Torya in her new single. Her mandrake is also her loved-one, and she sings with deep affection and softened breathing vocals about handguns, Nike Shox sneakers and Mercedes fancy cars. This wouldn’t be new if the lyrics were delivered over a pumped up baile funk sample. But the phonk beat shaped by producers Bié and uzzn tie up a gloomy, languid track. —Felipe Maia

Los Pilotos – “El ciclo de las Mareas” feat. Mula

In 2018, Los Pilotos released an adventurous intercontinental effort titled Alianza Atlántic—an EP brimming with fun, inventive collaborations featuring Latin American artists like Javiera Mena and Diosque. Now, the Spanish duo (a parallel project of Banin and Florent from Los Planetas) are gearing up for a sequel to the cult favorite, unveiling a brand new single titled “El Ciclo De Las Mareas” featuring the incandescent Dominican trio Mula. Finding emotional parallels between the ocean rush and the bubbling stomach butterflies of a blooming romance, the song expertly melds Mula’s sun-kissed Caribbean charm with Los Pilotos’ restrained pop genius. —Richard Villegas

Dj Patio Music ft Químico, Your R, El Fecho, Ceky, Jordani, Tivi, and Musicologo – “0 Balala”

A typical industry critic of the Dominican movement is that there is no unity among artists. However, the underground dembow scene has consistently dismissed that ideology with a plethora of multi-artist hit tracks. OG dembow tastemaker DJ Patio has developed work for El Alfa, La Nueva Escuela, Pablo Piddy, and Jhon Distrito. Recently, he united some of the toughest lyricists in the Dominican Republic for “0 Balala.” With raw verses by Quimico Ultra mega, Your R, El Fecho, Ceky Jordani, Tivi, and Musicologo, the track is emblematic of the gritty talent that goes beyond the island. -Jennifer Mota

Spuk – “Sin Freno” feat. Zaki, WEEDMACKER

Salvadoran rapper Spuk has unleashed “Sin Freno,” a Central American trap crossover for the ages featuring compatriot Zaki and Guatemalan powerhouse WEEDMACKER. Gliding over a malevolent beat by fellow Salvi GARS, the boastful epic is a pounding anthem to Centraca resilience where Zaki and WEEDMACKER deliver neck-twisting speed raps, while Spuk bounces back and forth between English and Spanish, paying homage to an expansive and loving diaspora. —Richard Villegas

Babi – “Amén”

Madrid’s Babi gives us a track that’s grimy and doomy yet melodic, displaying her skills both as a singer and an emcee. Finding power in an intimate setting, “Amén” revolves around a quiet guitar lick—courtesy of producer Syndrome—that shines through the static, while the singer waxes on about losing one’s mind over another person. —Marcos Hassan

Clean White Paper – “The Thicket”

Like a thought blossoming in your mind in full color and amazing shape, Clean White Paper makes introspective music full of timbres and details that spark the imagination. “The Thicket” marches to an abstract beat that recalls ‘90s trip-hop while using an expanded palette of sounds borrowed from post rock. Here, melodies reign supreme and take over your emotions with ease. —Marcos Hassan

Yoún, Gilsons – “Besteira”

For those who are tirelessly questing the commodity-land of music streaming, there’s a hidden gem squeezed in between a short-stepped bebop intro and airy sample from Jodeci’s “My Heart Belongs to You.” This fine stone is called “Besteira,” one of the latest singles of Rio de Janeiro’s duo Yoún. With the help of Gilsons, an upcoming talented trio from Bahia, the young musicians Alisson and Gian have entangled danceable afrobrazilian harmonies, sparkling R&B layers and affectionate lyrics. What they offer us is a journey from jazzy prairies to candomblé’s ijexá rituals. Both Yoún and Gilsons are names to have on the radar in 2021. -Felipe Maia

Venetonix – “La Que Es” feat. Betsayda Machado & Parranda El Clavo

Miami-based musician and producer Andrés Ponce, better known as Venetonix, dropped a seven-track EP that is an uplifting celebration of Afro-Venezuelan sounds, and its title track fittingly features Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo. “La Que Es” blends club music sounds and structures with traditional percussion from Venezuela’s black coastal towns, with Machado and her combo singing chants that call us to dance the same way the magnetic beat commands us to. —Cheky