Sofía Valdés Charts a Generation-Spanning Story in 'Silvia'
Photo: Olivia Parker and Parker Hao
Somber-coded and deeply cathartic, Panamanian singer-songwriter Sofía Valdés pays homage to her tangled roots and stumbles her way back home to herself on her latest EP, Silvia.
A five-track EP, we’re introduced to “Wild” and “Barbed Wire,” accompanied with previously released singles “Easy” and “Midnight Freak-Out.” While each song is a puzzle piece to an introspective story on isolation, immigration, and self-actualization, the project’s title track is its beating heart. A bow to her late great-grandmother Silvia De Grasse, Valdés is at her most viscerally alluring and delicately powerful while singing in Spanish alongside traditional maracas and guitar chords. It’s evident she’s called on her ancestors' guidance to not only tell their story but forward its next chapter.
The ethereally melancholic “Easy” pairs beautifully with the EP’s send-off track “Barbed Wire,” invoking the same feeling you’d get when finally reaching the end of a coming-of-age film. Valdés has survived the wildfire and emerged anew.
Noting the EP as her “favorite thing I’ve done so far,” you can feel how far Valdés has journeyed as an artist. Her maturation is palpable, finding both a sound and story that was seemingly begging to come out of her all along. Working alongside famed producer Michael Uzowuru to bring the project to life, Silvia tells a family story that belongs to many of us, setting free several generations before and several to come.
Listen to Silvia below: