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.
GALE, Lo Que No Te Dije (Sony Music Latin)
“I have things to tell you, I don’t regret it but I was losing [myself]. I can’t stop being me. I want to let go,” GALE declares over an edgy, almost otherworldly beat in her new album’s intro. Then she goes straight into the first track “1+1.” The singer-songwriter’s debut seems like it’s been a long time coming, given that she had been dropping back-to-back singles in the past few months — all leading up to the big release. The 12-track set doesn’t disappoint.
With no features — a big statement for a new artist — GALE dabbles in edgy-pop (“1+1”), punk (“D-Pic”), and reggaetón (“La Mitad”), sounds that power heartbreak ballads and soon-to-be feminist anthems. “I have to say that I am so freaking excited,” GALE said about her debut album during the Latin Women in Music red carpet. “It’s so personal and vulnerable and badass and I’m so happy to share this with the world. It’s who I am.” — GRISELDA FLORES
El Fantasma, XPERIMENTAL (Afinarte Music)
If his “A Cortar” barber shop and “Fantasma Classics” YouTube channel are any indication, El Fantasma loves to explore new ventures. Musically speaking, he also likes to test new waters — and his latest project XPERIMENTAL is proof of that. Produced by Hector Crisantes, the two-song EP is home to singles “Pura Fallas” and “Cargango La Cruz,” both of which feature El Fantasma swapping out his traditional Regional Mexican music for romantic ballads. Joined by a live symphony orchestra with piano, violin, and cello, the Mexican artist belts out sentimental and reflective lyrics about heartbreak on each track. “We did the EP with a lot of nerves and emotions. This is something new for me,” he told Billboard during an Instagram Live interview. “We switched the cowboy hat for a more sleek look. I wanted to do something new.” — JESSICA ROIZ
León Larregui, Prismarama (Universal Music Group México)
On his third solo album, Prismarama, León Larregui continues to bring his enigmatic allure to the dance floor. Like some kind of intergalactic prophet, the Zoé frontman finds a perfect balance between crafting ethereal arrangements rooted in Mexican tradition and offering some words of wisdom. That’s his gift: Just take the opening track, “Incendio de Amor/Carmelita,” where he describes otherworldly love with candor against tribal electronic flourishes. “This track is one of my favorites from Prismarama,” Larregui tells Billboard Español via email about the song. “After watching the Mexican film I’m No Longer Here by [Fernando] Frías, I was fascinated with this urban expression of cumbia rebajada.” Its music video was filmed in the historic Xochimilco in Mexico City.
Although each song is a unique listening experience from the next, the 15-track album explores an array of vivid configurations with prismatic effects. Propelled by whimsical harpsichord keys and moody basslines, “Tarot Polaroid” highlights sacred symbols with poetic flair, while “Quetzal” sees the Mexican crooner amp up the vibe with distorted guitars, as he sings of temples, altars and ancient birds, with an outro spoken in Nahuatl. Larregui’s exploration of sound — ranging from sparkly chimes to lo-fi lullabies and digital echoes, sounds nothing short of a lucid dream. — ISABELA RAYGOZA
Sebastián Yatra, Manuel Turizo & Beéle, “Vagabundo” (Universal Music Latino)
Colombian pop star Sebastián Yatra ventures into merengue alongside his compatriots Manuel Turizo and Beéle on “Vagabundo,” a joyous summer banger written and performed by this trio of collaborators. “You can go out with anyone, na-na-na-na-na/ Get drunk, na-na-na-na-na/ Tattooing the entire Bible is not going to help you/ To forget about a love that is not going to end,” Yatra sings about the feelings after a relationship, when exes pretend to have moved on while suffering in silence. The voices of Beéle and Turizo — the latter having already shown his chops for tropical music on his hits “La Bachata” and “El Merengue” — complement Yatra harmoniously in this vibrant tune that will surely make your body move. And the music video, directed by Joaquín Cambre and filmed in Miami at a boat party, is just as fun. — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS