Video + MP3: María Magdalena - "Garotinha"

Chilean singer María Magdalena (remember that pop jewel titled "CVMC"?) doesn't shy away from confessing she's still a newcomer finding her voice. Which is why she's chosen to take things slow and release a second EP, instead of a full-length as we all expected. "Garotinha," the first promotional cut from her forthcoming release Prisa, is loud and excessive from the let-go. The extravagant brash registered in those first seconds of the song dictate the course of the song and whether you'll be responsive to it or not. I find it middling, at best. While the beats are quite pristine and club-inducing, the chorus is a hard swallow. Perhaps because it's difficult to embrace a club jam when there are cultural appropriations to resolve. Or it may be the fact that Kali Mutsa has been doing this thing for a few years now, and with far better results (just re-visit "Canción de amor de colla" and realize how beautifully nuanced it is). "Garotinha" is still an assault to the senses though, and that deserves merit specially from artist still surveying the field. Download the MP3 of the song via Cosmopolitan.

Video: G.O.R.D.I. - "Más que amigos"

Chilean pop still has plenty of propositions on its sleeve. Sometimes it reveals them in the purest form of novelty (Planeta No), and other times it presents them journeys. G.O.R.D.I., the moniker of Valeria Jara, belongs to the latter. After years of interventions in the scene, providing vocal assistance to contemporaries like Gepe and Adrianigual, Jara has polished a profile of her own. Our initial encounter with G.O.R.D.I. happened almost four years ago, when the track “Suave y Salvaje” made the cut to one of our compilations. What seemed like an act pre-destined to follow the folksy neo-andean trend has come to redefine itself as an extravagant addition to urban pop.

The augmentation in artistry and risk is understandable considering the mentorship of Diego Adrian behind this -between G.O.R.D.I. and Planta Carnivora, we can’t help but to applaud his investment to embracing hip hop and reggaeton via pop hues and synthesizers. “Más que amigos” is not an immediate gem - Jara’s vocal delivery is cascaded in such a way that it builds resonance through multiple spins. But once you're able to locate the bridge of the song, there's no way to escape its catchy chorus. The clip directed by Roberto Doveris and Francesc Morales throws frame symmetries out of the window and focuses on polishing its characters through natural and artificial lights. Although it may be too early to say, G.O.R.D.I. is the chilean breakthrough of the year so far.

Julieta Venegas - "Ese Camino"

What would you like from your new Julieta Venegas song?

A mad accordion hook?

A melody you can sing after one listen?

A mix of lyrical heart and head, melancholy and hope?

Check, check, check. You're welcome.

It's no secret the Club basically worships Venegas. As the kids would say, she's 'Mom'. Fittingly, "Ese Camino" speaks of maturity and childhood: not so much a parental lecture, but a meditation on the connection between our ever-dying cells and the soul that we carry around, whether we remember the details of it correctly, or not.

Venegas has created another punchy 'three-minuter' - like flash fiction - that rolls joyfully through all her incarnations since Sí. The electronic tweaks are still hiding underneath, but on the whole, this is Venegas back at her session band best. Unfortunately, there's no tantalizing glimpse of what may come with the album proper, Algo Sucede: will there be a surprising new direction? Will it be another solid follow-up album to the previous, refining what came before? We have until the end of August to find out, and we suppose until then we'll just have to hit repeat on this delightful return.

SALFUMÁN - “Futura Mujer”

On paper, Valencia-based multi-instrumentalist SALFUMÁN seems to fit the criteria as the next hip thing. Her debut EP, is stuffed with plenty of shiny, slinky sounds to score a neon-lit nightclub or a contemplative after-dusk drive. Each song can be described as synthpop and if you close your eyes, the whole thing might zip by as a nebulous lump of slithering synthesizers, electronic ornamentations, and percussion bounces.

Where the concept of SALFUMÁN (not one related to chlorhydric acid) best manifests itself, though, is in Sandra Rapulp’s wholehearted embrace of sounds that might scan as completely cheesy if paired with more banal sentiments. “Futura Mujer” is a great example. With Rapulp’s voice ramping up humidity, what SALFUMÁN can accomplish with a tonally consistent palette is astonishing and palpable.