Honduran singer-songwriter and producer Empress Of has spent the last two and a half years quietly tinkering on her sophomore album, the follow-up to 2015’s Me, and it seems like we’re finally seeing the fruit of her hard work. Today, the artist born Lorely Rodriguez unveiled the video for “When I’m With Him,” a lush tribute to her East L.A. roots. The video is the latest material to debut from her upcoming album Us, which she recently announced would drop on October 19.
In the video, Rodriguez sports a puffy quinceañera dress, relaxes with her crew in a backyard patio, and lounges with friends in a massive Ford F-150 truck, staples of LA lowrider culture. The track finds Empress Of reprising her bilingual songwriting skills, which she first explored on 2013’s Tristeza EP. With featherlight vocals, she sings, “Querías más de lo que podrías ser/Me alejo más y tú no lo puedes ver.” She’s effervescent here, showcasing her talent for harnessing lyrical vulnerability and candor.
In an interview with The FADER, Rodriguez dove deeper into the process behind writing in Spanish (her previous two singles, “Trust Me Baby” and “In Dreams,” were also bilingual). “I use Spanish [when] something is so personal that I can’t really sing about it in English,” she said. “It’s almost like an alter ego to sing in Spanish.”
Watch the Rodriguez-directed video for “When I’m With Him” below via The FADER: