New Music Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs and albums recommended by Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors. Check out this week’s picks below.
Eslabon Armado, Desvelado (DEL Records)
Eslabon Armado’s Desvelado couldn’t come at a better time. The group’s sixth studio album — which follows their five back-to-back No. 1s on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart — drops when the Mexican-American sierreño band’s “Ella Baila Sola” with Peso Pluma is No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200 (dated April 29). It’s the first regional Mexican song to top the tally, and it’s also the first one from that genre to enter the top five on the Hot 100. Of course, the track is found on Desvelado, and while that might be the song that will draw you to listen to this album, you’re going to stay for all the other gems that Eslabon delivers. Mostly written by frontman Pedro Tovar (who is currently No. 1 on the Hot 100 Songwriters Chart), Desvelado further cements Tovar’s ability to adapt the classic genre to Gen Z, with super-modern lyrics — like in the opening track, “Quién Es El?” where he sings, “Who is he, the one you’re posting on social media, hanging out in the same places I once took you and kissed you?”
Throughout the album, Eslabon sticks to the sad sierreño, guitar-driven sound that’s not only worked for them but marks a new generation of Mexican music hitmakers. The LP includes eight collabs, including the norteña-tinged cumbia “Quédate Conmigo” with Grupo Frontera (fresh off a Bad Bunny team-up) and the soon-to-be breakup anthem “Tomando Tequila,” with Jhayco’s raspy vocals taking center stage. Eslabon reels in artists the group has previously recorded with, including Junior H and DannyLux, for duets. If you’re barely discovering Eslabon Armado because you’ve listened to “Ella Baila Sola,” you’ve arrived just in time. This album is a treat to new and loyal fans alike. — GRISELDA FLORES
Monsieur Periné, Bolero Apocalíptico (5020 Records/Sony Music Latin)
The Colombian duo of Catalina García and Santiago Prieto is one of the few acts around who can truly deliver eclectic albums that manage to sound like a cohesive full listen. Their newest, the intriguingly titled Bolero Apocalíptico (Apocalypic Bolero), as usual navigates whimsy (check out the reggae-infused “Mundo Paralelo” with Pedro Capó), musicality and multiple genres tinged with the unexpected, but always guided by strong melodies, making them outliers in the alternative world. Witness too how Monsieur can get signature acts to leave their comfort zone, as they do by inviting Ana Tijoux to do “Cumbia Valiente.” There’s sultry barroom fare and yes, an apocalyptic bolero to end it all, performed simply by Prieto and accompanied by guitar. — LEILA COBO
Mike Bahía, Contigo (Warner Music Mexico)
Latin Grammy winner Mike Bahía comes to full circle with the release of his new album Contigo — the third and final installment in the album trilogy that gave life to Navegando (2019) and Contento (2021). Together, the titles of these three albums form the phrase “Navegando Contento Contigo” (Sailing Happy With You), a name and concept that serve as a reflection of and dedication to the incredible journey that is his musical career and the people who have supported him thus far — including his team, his fans, and his family. Known as “The Captain of the Ship,” Bahía delivers a 12-track set packed with deep romance, pain, heartache, and vulnerability — as shown with the focus single “Corazón” which represents an open conversation with your heart in the purest way.
Produced and co-written by Keityn, along with the contributions of the team at La Creme, Contigo also includes the previously released singles “La Falta”; the powerful, statement-making release with regional Mexican star Carin León; the undeniably irresistible “El Egoísmo,” featuring Keityn and rising Colombian singer and songwriter Dekko; “De Qué Manera,” the salsa song with which Bahía pays tribute to his hometown of Cali, Colombia; and of course, “Mi Pecadito,” featuring Greeicy — the song in which he experiments with the sensual sounds of bachata, fusing the genre with the vibrant tropical rhythms that have come to define his work over the years. — INGRID FAJARDO
Jay Wheeler, Emociones 1.5 (Linked Music/Dynamic Records/EMPIRE)
Jay Wheeler is a happy newlywed, married to the love of his life, artist Zhamira Zambrano. But on his nine-track Emociones 1.5, he’s exactly that: emotional. In the first three tracks, “Intro,” “Te La Dedico,” and “For You” — all powered by ballad melodies and acoustic guitars — Wheeler stays faithful to his alter ego “La Voz Romantica” (the romantic voice) by pouring his heart out to melancholy lyrics. “Intro” is about disconnecting from a loved one; “Te La Dedico” comes from a man who has moved on; and “For You,” the only English track on the EP, is about nostalgia and change.
By the fourth track, Wheeler starts to step out of his comfort zone — both musically and lyrically — best represented in “Pacto” with newcomers Luar La L, Dei V, and Hades66 and “SOS.” In the former, he unleashes a sultry Latin trap about two people who have crazy sexual chemistry. In the latter, he taps into a fusion of alternative and 80’s new wave. One of the most notable tracks in Emociones is “Corazón Roto,” a playful punk rock tune that smoothly transitions into a traditional bachata beat towards the end. And amidst the mix of romantic reggaetón and hard-hitting perreo, Wheeler wraps up his EP with “2022,” his first-ever attempt at dropping a regional Mexican tune. — JESSICA ROIZ
Niña Pastori, Camino (Sony Music España)
The Spanish singer-songwriter Niña Pastori — and one of the greatest exponents of flamenco — launches her new album Camino this wekk. The 10-song collection is a mix of rhythms in which Pastori flaunts her vocal versatility and undeniable experimental essence — fusing, once again, her deeply rooted flamenco with other Latin musical genres. It includes everything from the more commercial pop of “Bon dia,” going through cheerful gypsy salsas like “Regoleta” and “Osú qué niña” (the first single released of the album), to bulerías like “De Repente” — full of cante, jaleo and roll of palms.
Camino is full of emotions, embodied in positive and optimistic songs like “Bon dia,” soundtracks to getting off on the right foot in the morning. Her voice is passionate, intense and emotional in each of her tracks. But it is not the only thing that stands out from the new project. In the San Fernando, Cadíz, Andalusia native’s lyrics, she also includes life reflections — as in “Caminante,” in which she talks about social realities such as homelessness and childhood famine, and invites you with her song to be part of the change: “Come leave your mark with love… This will be a better world.” Camino is a delight, whether you are having a cup of coffee in Barcelona, or just hoping to take an authentic journey through Spanish folklore through Niña Pastori’s contribution to flamenco — which she’s been making for over 25 years. — LUISA CALLE
Alex Anwandter feat. Buscabulla, “Mi vida en llamas” (5 AM)
With an insatiable and unmatched knack for crafting the perfect pop hook, Alex Anwandter returns with another swoon-worthy single, “Mi Vida En Llamas.” This time, the Chilean artist enlists Puerto Rican indie pop duo Buscabulla, where Anwandter and Raquel Berrios trade off their heavenly voices to create a whirling sensation of bliss in technicolor. Although euphoric, the heavy-hearted pop song details the feeling of your body going up in flames, amid pandemic uncertainty — “when the world and our respective love lives seemed to be going up in flames,” explains the singer-songwriter/producer in a press release. “Overall, it’s a positive song about how the world might be a bad place, but life, in spite of all, is pretty wonderful.” The grooving single is from his upcoming album, El Diablo en el Cuerpo, out May 26. — ISABELA RAYGOZA
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