Stefanie Fernández

This week, Alt.Latino celebrates a variety of new creative heights, including psychedelic cumbia, an acoustic Pink Floyd cover and a reggaeton dance record from Anitta and MC Kevinho.

At the bottom of the page, you can follow a series of NPR Music's favorite Latin songs, updated weekly on Spotify. Catch this week's hot takes below.

This week's Alt.Latino playlist is packed with percussive tracks, including rustic takes on reggaeton, classical flute juxtaposed with trap beats and romantic jingles livened with spoken word.

At the bottom of this page is the playlist, as part of a series of NPR Music's favorite Latin songs, updated weekly on Spotify. Listen and read through our weekly hot takes here.

NPR Music's Alt.Latino podcast recently released its year-end list of 2018's best songs and albums. Along the way, the team has done some reading and deep thinking about a trend that started in 2017 has only gained momentum: In the world of streaming music services, Latin artists have been cleaning up.

After a week spent ranking the best Latin music of 2018, it's time to get back to recent releases.

I say this to anyone who will listen: Latin music these days is exploding with so much creativity and inspiration that it is simply overwhelming. Once you get past the billions of views on YouTube of the reggaeton- inspired pop music, you'll find myriad artists who consider their cultural backgrounds a blank canvas on which they express their sense of self and identity.

Every week, Alt.Latino lines up the best new Latin music, featuring both global superstars and emerging artists on this rise. For this week's playlist, J Balvin has releases another hit, Helado Negro previews his sixth album, Juracán and Rene Lopez drop new singles and Draco Rosa flexes his rock and roll chops.

Latin forays into the pop realm continued unabated last week, and while Drake rapping en espanol may have commanded most of the attention, it was far from the only noteworthy song. Ozuna and Selena Gomez on the same song? Yes, it happened. We also received music from our favorite garage punks from Mexico and discovered two new tracks from way down south — the Southern Cone to be exact.

This week, there's something new for every corner of the Latinternet. On the pop music front, Nicky Jam brought on Bad Bunny and Arcangel for "Satisfacción," proving themselves some of the busiest Latinos in music this summer. Internet kids Cuco and Clairo teamed up for a sweet trying-to-appear-older track because the law virtually required it, Miguel leaned in further to his Afro-Mexican roots on a Spanish version of "Banana Clip," and Ivy Queen tore a vicious vecina to shreds with a hilarious diss track.

As part of Turning the Tables, NPR Music compiled a list of 200 greatest songs by women and non-binary artists in the 21st Century.

9 a.m. Friday. Miami. You're stuck on the Palmetto Expressway, already late to your "minimum" "wage" desk job when you get a call: Sofi, your Soulcycling best friend with the ever-perfect manicure. "Muchaaaacha! Where are you?" she says. Her tío is out of town and lent her the boat. Juanchi, the dude you've had your eye on who resembles Maluma in abs, tiny man-bun and net worth, will be there. WYD?

This week, the music got intense. With "Pienso En Tu Mirá," 24-year-old flamenco singer Rosalía is proving to be one of the most inventive young players in Latin music ahead of her second album El Mal Querer, a more polished and produced genre experiment than her strictly acoustic debut album, 2017's Los Angeles.

Jeff Rosenstock has always made music for the slow days after the end-times, and "All This Useless Energy" is a kick-the-can punk ballad for crawling out of aimlessness toward a purpose.

As the temperature outside climbs well into the 90s, we're getting a bit restless. Luckily, this week Bad Bunny released not one but two bangers to keep us moving, and his collaborator, Arcangel's old other-half De La Ghetto, released a love bop with Maluma and Wisin that will make you yearn for the simpler romances of childhood. Meanwhile, L.A. hometown heroes Inner Wave provide a silky synth wave ballad that will make you want to fall in love in someone's Honda Civic.

For Latinos all over the world, the arrival of summer can mean a lot of things: piraguas, block parties, backyard-grown tropical fruit sold out of the trunks of cars. This year in the music world, summer means the return of Cuban hip-hop trio Orishas after a 10-year hiatus, la reina Ivy Queen's contribution to reggaeton season, Dos Santos' psychedelic cumbia funk and more.

In the history of world domination schemes, there hasn't been a conqueror that took over the Earth in Spanish since Christopher Columbus. J Balvin is ready to reclaim the music world for his people.

Hell is real and L.A. punk band Hit Bargain has been there. It's in Ohio.

It would be easy to call Peach Kelli Pop's bright and frenetic music bubblegum or twee, but it would also be wrong. To refer to a song like "Hello Kitty Knife" this way removes the agency and intention that makes it so earnest. The first single off the band's upcoming fourth album Gentle Leader is at once a more maturely written song than previous work and a return to childhood.

You know the kinds of teens and 20-somethings who listened to PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney and wore Mary-Jane Doc Martens with socks? The cool ones in those art films you saw in high school?

On the 2017 debut Jump Ship, No Thank You frontwoman Kaytee Della Monica offered the kind of millennial snark heard from the edge of a cigarette with lyrics like "Still listen to Nimrod when I'm getting high / I'm twenty something, I'm doing just fine."

Disney's latest summer reading list adaptation A Wrinkle in Time is being hailed and expected to set the box office aflurry. A big-screen (and big-budget) adaptation of the 1962 novel by Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time follows a young girl through inter-dimensional time and space to find her missing father. It's a coming-of-age story bundled in a sci-fi odyssey, tied up with a $100 million bow.

The world's love affair with Celia Cruz is a story that has a middle but no beginning. Today, the world remembers Cruz as the Queen of Salsa, with her towering wigs, cackling refrain of ¡Azúcar! and permanent smile. Her best-loved hits concern happiness in the face of life's hardships: "Ay / no hay que llorar / que la vida es un carnaval / es más bello vivir cantando" (You don't have to cry / life is a carnaval / it's more beautiful to live singing). For so many, the hope and joy that Cruz embodied made her difficult ascension to fame a footnote to her success.

If your mom's favorite telenovela met The Love Witch, the resulting TV movie would be La Luz's video for "Cicada." After 2015's Charles Burns-inspired Weirdo Shrine, "Cicada" is the first single off the L.A. band's upcoming album Floating Features, and builds on its noir foundations with a sunny edge.

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