'Me Traicionaste' For The Throne: Our Favorite Latin Songs This Week
New music makes it way to the Alt.Latino inbox from a variety of sources. This week, one new track comes by way of the popular HBO phenomenon Game of Thrones. Spanish vocalist and Alt.Latino favorite Rosalía and Peruvian musician Alejandro Chal make it onto a taste-making compilation of music inspired by the uber popular show and that's just the tip of the iceberg of a collection of new music. This week's playlist also features artists who use electronic soundscapes to describe the world around them and we check in with Luis Fonsi and his latest collaboration. There's something for everyone this week!
Per usual, as part of a series of NPR Music's favorite Latin songs, we created a Spotify playlist to accompany the songs we write about. Read and listen to the latest on Alt.Latino below.
Rosalía feat A.CHAL, "Me Traicionaste"
If you, like me, lost your mind over Sunday nights's episode of Game of Thrones, then you're the target demographic for the album inspired by the series, For the Throne: Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones, which came out April 26. Rosalía's and Peruvian singer A.CHAL's "Me Traicionaste" is a soundtrack standout, not just for it's drawn, muted guitar that echoes the show's ominous builds to major plot twists, but for its uncanny relevance to Arya Stark and her kill list. The song tells the story of a revenge a long time coming, hinging on the repetition of the phrase "en tu mirá." Death has many faces, as Arya and all of Westeros have come to learn, and this song captures the stakes of what the Realm has to lose and to gain after the Battle of Winterfell, and the satisfaction that comes in having one's revenge and conquering death, if only for a moment. — Stefanie Fernández
Luis Fonsi, Sebastián Yatra, Nicky Jam, "Date La Vuelta"
It seems that ever since "Despacito," Luis Fonsi has been trying to replicate its song of the summer-level success. While "Date La Vuelta" might not win the new title of Song of the Summer, it's definitely one of the first contenders in a year with suspiciously few by the May 1 mark.
"Date La Vuelta" has everything that made "Despacito" great: a slow, evocative guitar intro, verses from a well-loved Puerto Rican reggaeton artist (in this case Nicky Jam, who even shouts out Natti Natasha's "Criminal"), and a bursting melodic hook from Fonsi. Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra is there too. Oh, and there's the millions and millions of YouTube views (19 million and counting at press time) to back it, proof that the Latinternet is on board and you probably should be, too. — Stefanie Fernández
Jackie Mendoza, "Mucho Más"
Mexican-born American Jackie Mendoza has been on our radar since her 2018 Tiny Desk Contest submission. Now, her debut EP, LuvHz, delivers on that entry's promise. "Mucho Más" is the EP's glitchy intro track, backed by Mendoza's heavily warped ukulele and production by Rusty Santos. Ahead of her first album, the vibrant electropop on LuvHz comes as a peek — or a warning — of what's to come. — Stefanie Fernández
ÌFÉ, "Voodoo Economics (WolfMan)"
In December 2016, Adolf Wolfgang Siemon-Otero was gunned down outside of a restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He would have been yet another tragically anonymous statistic in the story of post-hurricane Puerto Rico had not some of his friends gathered to make music in his honor. The innovative electronic traditionalists in ÌFÉ celebrate their fellow musician friend with a beautifully contemplative meditation on the deeper meaning of the value of a life that has been pre-judged by a society that once ignored young men like Siemen-Otero.
"Voodoo Economics (Wolfman)" is awash with the kind of electronic musical backdrop that impressed two years ago with the band's first album. This is the second single from an upcoming album that promises an even deeper exploration of Afro-Caribbean spirituality that makes the band one of the most creative groups making music these days. --Felix Contreras
Xiuhtezcatl feat. Jaden Smith, "Boombox Warfare"
Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced shoo-TEHZ-caht) is a hip-hop artist and activist who uses the genre to address injustice. "Boombox Warfare" is a call to arms to use music to raise consciousness. "More than a form of communication, hip-hop culture is our greatest tool for liberation," raps Xiuhtezcatl.
To drive home a point of cross cultural inclusiveness Xiuhtezcatl invited Jaden Smith to deliver the lyrics over a simple jazz-influenced guitar riff that gives the track a nuanced musical backdrop for their message of inspiration. -- Felix Contreras
Wasted Fates, "Trastorno"
An office mate sent along a link to the new album by this Mexican electronic musician Octavio Kh, who performs as Wasted Fates. And I'll be forever grateful for the recommendation because this sound-obsessed innovator creates the kind of trance/ambient/dream work kind of music that is a bona fide successor to the great ambient artists of past generations.
There are tons of contemporary influences throughout the 11 tracks of his latest album, Turbio — dancehall, dembo and more — and the whole project is a layered exploration of how his creative mind works. The track "Trastorno" is the kind of down-tempo exploration that always inspires deep thought and appreciation of the many details that makes this so engaging. -- Felix Contreras