Imagine earning comparisons to Lana Del Rey and Fiona Apple with just one — one! — single? That’s exactly where Panamanian songwriter Sofía Valdés found herself at the end of September, following the release of debut song “Little Did I Know”. Proving she’s no one-hit wonder, though, she’s now sharing an equally promising second track titled “Handful of Water”.
Valdés comes from a long line of successful musicians, including great-grandfather Miguelito Valdés, regarded as a legendary Cuban artist, and great-grandmother Silvia De Grasse, a Panamanian vocalist who once performed alongside Louis Armstrong. That storied ancestry translates to a certain poise, assuredness, and pride that glows from within today’s offering.
“The deeper I get into working on my music, the more I realize how much it’s connected to the music that people in my family were making a long time ago,” she explained in a statement. “Now I want everyone to know that my culture is amazing, that I’m so proud of it, and that everyone else should be proud of their culture too.”
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Del Rey’s aesthetic, too, has made a mark on Valdés again. Throughout there are tints of hazy, sultry, and sun-baked pop filtered through a ’60s lens. In a recent interview with VENTS magazine, Valdés said Del Rey’s Ultraviolence is “one of my favorite albums, sonically that album shaped me a lot.”
Check out “Handful of Water” via its Hawaii-set music video below, and stay tuned for Valdés’ forthcoming Ventura EP, due out early 2021.
“Handful of Water” Artwork: