First Stream Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums, and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors. Check out this week’s picks below.
Eslabon Armado, Corta Venas (DEL Records)
The title might give it away, but Corta Venas — which translates to wrist-slitting — is a 24-track set born out of heartbreak and despair. Following a formula that has worked well for the emerging regional Mexican teenage trio, Eslabon Armado once again bets on romantic sierreño ballads to strike a chord. And that they do. Corta Venas, the chart-topping group’s third album of 2020, kicks off with a 45-second premise. “Pedro, have they broken your heart before or why do you write so much about heartbreak?” a female voice asks lead singer Pedro Tovar. His response: “Yeah, they have. I was with someone but that person didn’t want anything to do with me.” Then comes a cascade of beautiful and well-written emotional songs led by acoustic guitars and the electric bass that trace Tovar’s journey through heartbreak. “I’ve been writing songs ever since the last album dropped and we were waiting for December because winter is kind of like a season when people are sad … well it seems like a sad season to me. I thought, ‘Let’s just drop the album,’” Pedro previously told Billboard. In addition to original tracks penned by Tovar, the album includes two covers: “Mi Historia Entre Tus Dedos” and “La Mejor de Todas.”
Tito El Bambino, El Muñeco (On Fire Music, Inc.)
If 2020 ruined your traveling plans, no need to worry because Tito El Bambino’s new studio album, El Muñeco, will take you on a musical journey throughout the Caribbean. The 10-set production kicks off with the downtempo reggaeton track “I Love You” in collaboration with Jay Wheeler, which samples a part of Hector y Tito’s 2004 hit “Baila Morena.” It then travels to the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico, where Farruko awaits with the feel-good reggae “Se Va.” From there, Tito gives fans a wave of sultry reggaeton and old-school perreo tunes as heard in “Timida,” “Baila Morena,” “Sexy Sensual,” “Por Ti” and “Se Que Te Perdi.” In “OK,” he makes a pit stop in Cuba, teaming up with Cuban-American artists Mariah Angeliq and IAmChino. He also recruits Akon for this head-bopping dancehall fusion. And it’s not a party without some dembow, which Tito explores within the infectious “Soltero” alongside Dominican artists Kiko El Crazy and Chael Produciendo. From the rich tropics to the closing number, Tito switches things up for the grand finale in the mellow acoustic track “Porque Me Buscas?” Other collaborators on the album include Wisin, Justin Quiles, Cosculluela, Zion & Lennox, Lenny Tavárez and Chencho Corleone. Stream and listen to El Muñeco below:
Natanael Cano, Junior H & Ovi, Las 3 Torres (Warner Music Latina/Rancho Humilde)
Trap corridos’ biggest proponents, chart-toppers Natanael Cano and Junior H and newcomer Ovi, join forces for an experimental 16-track set that strikes a nice balance between trap and Cano and Junior H’s identifiable sierreño sound. Throughout the explosive album, the three Rancho Humilde artists show off their ability to go from a hard-hitting, fast-paced rap corrido (“Las 3 Torres”) to a slowed-down ballad-like track (“Viejo Vaya”). Las 3 Torres includes one collaboration, featuring Puerto Rican hitmaker Ñengo Flow on “Crónicas de un Gallo.” The album was recorded in Miami and produced by a slew of renowned producers including Yampi, Rvssian and Danny Felix, among others. The album closes with Cano and Ovi’s previously released Spanglish anthem “Feeling Good” with Snoop Dogg, Sno Tha Product and CNG.
Nacho & Chyno Miranda, “Antivirus” (Universal Music Latino)
Nacho and Chyno Miranda have joined forces to give Chino y Nacho fans the ultimate collaboration just in time for the holidays. In “Antivirus,” the Venezuelan artists keep grounded to the tropical urban fusions that have characterized their career, bringing to life a feel-good, danceable song about comparing an old, toxic relationship with a new, healthy one. “Until you arrived/ You took me to the moon/ And in the crowd/ I was bewitched by your attitude/ She is shadow and you are light,” says the chorus. In the sweet music video, we see a couple who’s spending time together during the quarantine because of the global pandemic.
Rawayana, “Mi Amigo Luis” (Brocoli Records)
After a three-year hiatus, Latin Grammy-nominated Venezuelan collective Rawayana dropped their new single “Mi Amigo Luis,” dedicated to their late friend Luis, who they remember as “siempre fresh,” but overall pays homage to friendship. Produced by Cheo Pardo, the track is a neo-soul-infused song with sultry funk melodies. “We all have a ‘Luis’ type relative or friend who brightens our day or brings life to those unforgettable anecdotes,” explains the group. “This song has a purpose…to always remember that it’s not excessive to spread love to those around us and recognize that the best moment to do so is now while they’re still in this dimension. We hope whoever hears this record for the first time will send an affectionate message to someone they love.” The music video, filmed in Paris by director Pierre-Loys Joubert, features a sassy dance performance helmed by choreographer Brandon Miel Masele.