V’s New Music Roundup: The Weeknd, Latto, and more

Here are some of the biggest and best music releases of the week.

As 2022 slows to a halt, much of our music analysis is backward-looking. What was the best album of 2022, or how about the best song? But there is still so much great music being released right now, that we’d be doing a disservice if we ignored. Don’t give up on 2022 just yet; new music is still rolling in. 

Let’s get into this week’s best releases:


Image courtesy of Columbia Records

Originally released on her deluxe album MOTOMAMI+, “DESPECHÁ” is a whimsied and playful banger from ROSALÍA. With a new Cardi B verse that adds some textural diversity, the new “DESPECHÁ RMX” is the peak of the MOTOMAMI era. And, oh Cardi, we need an album. 

“Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” by The Weeknd

Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

After the double-punch of Dawn FM and After Hours, we weren’t expecting anything new from The Weeknd. Still, like the spontaneous trend-setter that he is, the R&B/pop artist gave us one last hit for 2022. His new single for Avatar: The Way of Water is vast and cinematic. It’s larger than life. 

“Gorilla” by Little Simz

Image courtesy of Forever Living Originals

Little Simz is the up-and-coming rapper you need to keep your eye on. Her new album NO THANK YOU is masterful, with beautiful melodic underlay and scintillating verses. There’s craft in her poetry, a mastery of language that we haven’t seen since the likes of Noname and Lauryn Hill. 

“When You Bad Like That” by Jacquees feat. Future

Image courtesy of Cash Money Records

Comibing the smooth R&B stylings of Jacquees with the free-flowing rap of Future creates a match made in heaven. “When You Bad Like That” is a sexy little hit that grinds forward with vigor. Just listen to Jacquees’ runs and you’ll grow weak in the knees. 

“Losing You” by FLO

Image courtesy of Universal Music

Bring back the girl group! It seems like we haven’t had an all-star sultry femme-centered band sweep the culture since the likes of Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. Just months after taking TikTok by storm with their effortless “Cardboard Box,” FLO returns with yet another smooth R&B earworm. 

“Another Nasty Song” by Latto

Image courtesy of Streamcut & RCA Records

In the grand tradition of “WAP,” Latto has provided another raunchy, explicit rap hit to add to the pantheon. “Another Nasty Song” oozes with sex and carnal desire, in a way that is both amusing and empowering. Latto is embracing her sexuality, as we all should. 

“Walk Out That Door” by Ali Gatie 

Do you ever think about the “one that got away”? That’s what the multi-Platinum artist Ali Gatie explores in his latest track. Confessing his deepest thoughts and emotions, he lays it all out there in a rich, breathtaking track.

“You Never Visit Me” by Masego

Image courtesy of UMG Recordings

Masego is bringing back the intricacies of jazz and soul, but updating it for a more modern form. Of his whole discography, new release “You Never Visit Me” is a highlight. It claws and claws, demanding attention as he wails out “Home where the heart is, house party / Get it started, invite only.”

“LA FINE” by Månesekin

Image courtesy of Epic/Sony Music

Eurovision-winners Måneskin have been rocking the world with their writhing, rock-filled anthems. “LA FINE” is not only a return to sonic form, re-emracing that metal rock sound, but also a return to language. Their first Italian release in quite awhile, even non-speakers can bang their head along with this rager. 

“Today (can’t help but cry)” by Gretel Hänlyn

Image courtesy of VLF Records

That genre of chugging, indie rock superstars is ever-evolving. From Snail Mail to Maggie Rogers, our taste is slowly becoming more alternative, and more flushed with muted electric basses. Give Gretel Hänlyn a shot; her newest release is great, but her whole catalog is indie-pop gold. 

“little pieces” by young friend

Image courtesy of CLUBB

One remarkable aspect of songwriting is the ability to paint a picture. It’s a rare talent, being able to use words to create a visceral image within the mind of a listener. With his slow-burn acoustic pop hits, young friends has mastered this art.

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