With the poise of Nick Drake and pop qualities of a soft-spoken Clairo, Panama’s Sofía Valdés merges bare-bones instrumentation with her dreamy voice in “Lonely.” From a latinx woman who learned to speak English by listening to pop music as a child, Valdés dedication to honest lyricism provides the listener with a kind of relief when hearing Valdés admit what is true.
“I’ll always go back to you,” she says over layered vocals and simple guitar. Valdés wrote her first song at thirteen, taking after the musicians in her family: her great-grandfather was the Cuban musician Miguelito Valdés and her great-grandmother was Silvia De Grasse, a Panamanian singer who performed with Louis Armstrong. However, Valdés is carving out her own path in the music industry, bringing (quite undoubtedly) talent that is both raw and unique.
The song closes with the repetition of the word “lonely,” like an echo of one voice alone in an empty chamber, reminding you of nothing besides the fact that you are, indeed, lonely.
Her EP Ventura will be out in February, a project she co-produced with a collection of songs she has written throughout her life, including many from her time at the renowned Interlochen in Michigan.