When searching for new songs, Stefanie Fernández and I have different tastes in music, resulting in a wide range of discovery. We're also not always in the same mood.
That is not the case this week.
We both unwittingly set a slow groove through the songs we chose. So grab that fall sweater and your ear buds and let the sounds ripple across your psyche. — Felix Contreras
Ambar Lucid, "Mar de Llanto"
Since her debut EP, Dreaming Lucid, came out in March, 18-year-old singer Ambar Lucid has packed an intense honesty into everything she touches. "A Letter To My Younger Self" is a gentle reflection that promised "Ya no quiero que llores / The universe is gonna give you muchas flores." In July, she released a documentary about seeing her father for the first time since he was deported to Mexico when she was 8 years old; its title: Llegaron Las Flores.
Her newest track "Mar de Llanto" is stylized in late summer, with breezy guitars and a beachside video that would usually underscore a happier subject. Instead, Lucid bends these elements to portray the sea of sadness at the song's center, the stream of consciousness of a less-young singer still growing. — Stefanie Fernández
This is the best kind of ear candy. Featuring Manuel Calderon and Paulina Reza, formerly of The Chamanas, and their pal, Adria del Valle, Estereomance is delightfully creative and sonically provocative. Like a long stretch of road on a hot day, "Up" actually shimmers. — Felix Contreras
Luis Muñoz, "Shame (feat. Lois Mahalia)"
Luis Muñoz, one of California's best kept secrets, has a thing about drawing out the best from his vocalist collaborators. His latest album, The Infinite Dream, features Guyanese singer Lois Mahalia on a stunning set of songs. They come from a variety of cultures, but what they've made here can only be described as "Luis Muñoz" music: at times elegantly sparse, other times almost painterly always so artfully crafted. Seriously, if your looking for something that surprises, check out this album. — Felix Contreras
Girl Ultra, "Ruleta"
Mexico City's Girl Ultra has fast become one of the best-loved artists of the Latinx R&B renaissance. The first two singles from her album Nuevos Aires, "DameLove" with Cuco and "Ella Tú Y Yo," are drenched in the aesthetics of '80s and '90s R&B, pulp, and science fiction aesthetics. The third, "Ruleta," similarly seems to live in the '80s, from its new jack swing sound to the heavy prendas Mariana and friends adorn themselves with in the video. The song's chorus is a tongue-in-cheek nod to her hustle, her luck literally dancing around her, while recognizing the fickle nature of the industry that's rewarded her. — Stefanie Fernández