Viva Friday is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors.
This week’s Viva Friday playlist includes new music by Andrés Cepeda, Miky Woodz with J Balvin, Daniela Andrade and more.
“Infinito” – Andrés Cepeda, Jesse & Joy
How strange, and perfectly wonderful, to hear an excellent, mid-tempo guitar-driven pop song in Spanish without a hint of or concession to reggaeton or urban beats. “Infinito” is unabashedly romantic, but not syrupy or facile and deals with imperfect love with pragmatism: “No one else, I don’t need anyone else, and what little you give me, it’s infinite,” sings Colombian singer/songwriter Cepeda in the chorus, together with Mexican sibling duo Jesse & Joy. These three voices are forged in a tradition of lyrical, acoustic songwriting and the pairing not only makes sense but soars. Will it strike a chord in this urban world? We sure hope so. We’re in desperate need of love songs that truly have something to say. — LEILA COBO
“Pinky Ring” – Miky Woodz, J Balvin
After releasing his second studio album OG Week in April, Latin trap singer Miky Woodz has returned, accompanied by J Balvin, with “Pinky Ring.” The track talks about power within the urban genre and how they enjoy expensive material items such as jewelery and cars. The music video, directed by Fernando Lugo, was recorded using vintage images and shows what a normal working day for an urban artist would be like. The track will be part of Miky Woodz’s next album, due in 2020. — SUZETTE FERNANDEZ
“Del Otro Lado” – Yasser Tejeda & Palotré
Dominican Yasser Tejeda releases “Del Otro Lado,” a song which swerves into a wild and open gagá skronk session through the Dominican and Haitian freewheeling spirit. Dabbling with rugged and tender touches of electric guitar with prog-metal pulsations crammed throughout, with Kyle Miles deftly weaving his bass lines across the song, a brisk drum set by Victor Otoniel Vargas, and Jonathan Troncoso’s punchy and building percussion, the boisterous tune of cultural and religious elements falls on your ears with power. — PAMELA BUSTIOS
“Oxum” – Ley Line
Austin-based ensemble newcomers, Ley Line, draws from their amalgam of influences in “Oxum,” a song sung in three languages: Yoruba, Spanish and English. The female quartet beguile with their magnetic elements and reeling textures segueing easily from folk instrumentation to worldly beats. The zabumba, a traditional Brazilian drum, West African beats incorporated in the chékere and polyrhythmic drumming, flanked by the guitar and the American funk-tinted bass, converge harmoniously in a song which gracefully narrates the group’s energetical connection — as depicted in their name-with fresh water, pushing sound forward while respecting their cultural roots. — P.B.
“Ayayai” – Daniela Andrade
Make way for singer-songwriter Honduran-Canadian Daniela Andrade. “Ayayai” is the second track off Tamale, her forthcoming EP slated for Oct. 25, and delves into her Honduran heritage. The R&B-tinged all-Spanish tune, co-produced by Gray Rowan, delicately laces Andrade’s sultry vocals with the downtempo instrumentation as the 27-year-old trifles with electronica textures and neo-soul. — P.B.
“Rata” – Locobeach
Cumbia-pop meets Latin disco in Locobeach’s new single, “Rata,” a song with psychedelic nuances and the first single by the collaborative New York-based group, fraught with tropical funk peppered by its own hybrid melodic interchange. Led by Venezuelan José Luis Pardo on guitars/vocals (Los Crema Paraiso, Los Amigos Invisibles), with Neil Ochoa on congas/percussion/electronics (Chicha Libre, Los Crema Paraiso), Joshua Camp on accordion/ keyboards/vocals (Chicha Libre, C.A.M.P.O.S., One Ring Zero), Edward Marshall (La Muy Bestia Pop) on bass, and Fernando Valladares on timbales & drums (Guaco), Locobeach defines its debut effort as “dance music for your brain,” pumping Latin beats throughout the 10-track set. The group’s debut album Psychedelic Disco Cumbia is slated for Oct. 25. — P.B.