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Amor Perdido: 25 Latin ballads for summer heartbreak

A half-glass of rosé tipped precariously on a picnic table leg. Flowers are strewn about the grass as if thrown in passion.
Vanessa Leroy
/
NPR

Stream the playlist via Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube.

The sun wanes and the banda packs up to go home. Amidst stray trumpet blows and distant laughter, tequila causes you to sink further into a white plastic chair. Just as you close your eyes for a night-ending siesta, you look up to find a determined Tía Rosa standing over you.

Rosa just went through an all-too-messy break up with uncle Radolfo who ran off with her sister; she's been making her rounds all night, re-telling the woes of their torrid love (and loss) to anyone who will listen. The second you catch her eyes — sparkling with the prospect of further vindication from telling her tale to yet another victim — you know you're done for.

It's not a family fiesta until somebody cries.

You settle in, and let her tragedy whisk you back to the rancheras your abuela always played. There's no better tool for leaning into lost love than boleros, banda and Chente, so the sounds swirl through your mind like a symphonic backdrop to her tale. The more she divulges the more you wonder at the complexity of her saga: the twists and turns, the love that was strong, what was fought for before it was gone. It makes you think of lovesick ballads, but also the in-betweens — Thalía who danced the line of loss and empowerment, and Romeo Santos who sang sweet stanzas of heartbreak. Latinos love hard and sing about love even harder, so let the generations unravel el amor.

Roséwave: Amor Perdido Tracklist

Ruzzi & Ximena Sariñana, "Cariñito"
Doris Anahí, "Aprendiendo por las Malas"
Vicente Fernández, "Ella"
Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga (feat. Joss Favela), "¿Quién Pierde Más? - Versión Acústica"
Manuel Medrano, "La Distancia"
Carla Morrison, "Déjenme Llorar"
Reik, "Fui"
Julienne Ramos, "Nena <3"
Leo Rizzi, "Sanalö"
Paula Cendejas, "x ti"
Thalía (feat. Romeo Santos), "No, No, No"
Omar Apollo, "Petrified"
Valeria Castro, "guerrera"
Sofía Valdés, "Lonely"
adan diaz, "difícil"
DEVA & Carlos Ares, "Galerna"
Josue Alaniz & Carlos Colosio, "Cigarrito y Café"
Bad Bunny (feat. The Marías), "Otro Atardecer"
Marc Seguí, "Agua Salada"
Bad Bunny, "Yonaguni"
Paulina Rubio, "Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes"
Julieta Venegas with Ana Tijoux, "Eres para Mí"
María José Llergo (feat. Didi Gutman & $kyhook), "La Luz"
Girl Ultra, "Amores de droga"
J Balvin & Bad Bunny, "LA CANCIÓN"

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Anamaria Sayre is a multimedia producer for NPR Music with a focus on elevating Latinx stories and music. She's the producer for Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture, and the curator of Latin artists at the Tiny Desk.