Can't Say It's A Party Without 'Balloons': Our Favorite Latin Songs This Week

Feb 27, 2019

Every week, Alt.Latino puts together a list of songs that celebrate emerging Latino artists in the music world. This week's picks include Tagua Tagua's Brazilian rock swinging in the spotlight and a celebratory party anthem off Amara La Negra's debut EP.

As part of a series of NPR Music's favorite Latin songs, we created a Spotify playlist to accompany the songs we write about. Listen along and read our hot takes below.


Bruno Carbonetto and Candelaria Aaset / Courtesy of the artist

Fémina feat. Iggy Pop "Resist"

Ahead of the band's third album Perlas & Conchas, the Patagonian feminists of Fémina weave an elegant feminine aesthetic of Aproditesque bodies covered in silver dust, pearls, and actual conchas. After "Brillando" and "Arriba," the third single "Resist" is a feminine protest that breaks out of the #Resist narrative. It is a political resistance, but also a resistance against our past selves and their limitations.

Over lilting harmonies and a drum machine, the women sing, "Quién he sido ha desaparecido / Quien se ha ido? Seré yo?" Was that me? The semi-static video depicts the same three Aphrodites on a liquid beach as the moon — literally Iggy Pop — rises over the shore and sings something about "the secret's birth." Cool. — Stefanie Fernández


AER Management

Amara La Negra, "Balloons"

Amara La Negra's debut EP Unstoppable is finally here and it is not getting the coverage it deserves. In its seven songs that move from reggae to R&B to dembow, Unstoppable is a celebration of all things Caribbean, and "Balloons" is its buoyant soca-steeped centerpiece. Like its unstoppable party predecessors "Poron Pom Pom" in 2013 and "What A Bam Bam" in 2018, "Balloons" will have us all popping like balloons this summer. — Stefanie Fernández


Courtesy of the artist

Locos Por Juana feat. Common Kings "Crazy For Jane"

Locos Por Juana has always impressed with how they have absorbed the disparate influences of South Florida into a sound that could almost be a regional soundtrack. This is the title track of an album expected some time later this year that is a return to the band's roots-reggae sound that brought the members together in the first place. If the band keeps dropping video singles from this record, I'll keep watching. — Felix Contreras


Courtesy of the artist

Tagua Tagua, "Desatravessa"

Does the name of the band sound familiar? I featured it in this space a few weeks ago and I guess I'm still taken by its laid-back approach to Brazilian rock."Desatravessa" continues to shine a spotlight on Tagua Tagua's EP, Pedaco Vivo. It serves the purpose of providing a tip of the iceberg of contemporary Brazilian music of all stripes. This talented group of rockers shows what imagination and creativity can achieve when freed of expectation. — Felix Contreras


Courtesy of the artist

Esteban Copete y su Kinteto Pacifico, "Mi Misión"

With this track we call your attention to the term "Afropacifico" which refers to the Pacific Coast of Colombia that is heavily influenced by the African heritage of the area. The music from that history is a seemingly endless source of creativity and inspiration.

Esteban Copete is a grand son of Petronio Álvarez, a renowned Afro Colombian musician, and he takes his folkloric based music to new directions without losing its rotos. — Felix Contreras


This playlist is updated weekly.

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