Tuesday, May 4, 2010
No Stranger to Being Dope : Tecla Esposito
Documenting a beautiful moment in history is always right on time. This is a lesson I learned recently while lost in the woods with the sensual, playful, wild world that Tecla Esposito created on her new album, Strangers In Masks.
I was of the lucky elite class that got an early preview of Strangers before its actual release date. I immediately began taking notes and BBM'd Tec about reviewing her music. But i was way too overwhelmed to share most of my words. I never experienced anything like her before. Tecla and her album are such a flavor filled box of candy and beer, girls and boys, masks and bare truths.
This album is packed with dope from every direction. The ambient, psycho-analytical introduction of Chi Ali's sample, scary laughter and carnival harpsichords open the door to her vortex "Vintage Circus". Lyrically, Tecla is coy and creative and concerned from the gate. Throughout the album she is confronting social bullshit we often walk around in the name of fun and fashion. "Let's Play Dress Up", "Skinny Skinny" and "Good Hair" are all about the world's dumb expectations of her and women all around. Playful lyrics like "Scenester, scenester on my way/ out the door who am I today?" are sexy lines that blatantly call out the external focus of our current pop culture. What I enjoy most is that she is laughing at all of these issues; bringing them to the forefront while vocally proving she doesn't abide by such standards. She calmly questions the issues of beauty and brilliance and how our current culture values each. This discussion is powerful and compelling coming from such an undeniable beauty like Tecla, who conveys well that beauty alone won't win anyone their throne.
Regarding love and romance and creating her own space, Tecla's lyrics are visual and vulnerable. "dancing mimes" and "leprechauns in underwear" and other colorful childhood images are are all over "See The Rainbows", a synth bass driven song about her ideal utopia. One of favorite tracks, "Rollercoaster in Woods" has perfectly visual lyrics and it is easy to find yourself lost in her bouncing images of romance and flashlights. The distant sonic environment in her mid tempo, booty shaking offer a great example of her constantly fusing musical influences.
Confessions of insecurities and inconsistencies in her world are well expressed in tracks like "When I was a Sinner" where she sings doo-wop about how the world may regard her choices in music, friends and lovers. My personal favorite booty shaker, "So Have I" takes that discussion and flips the groove from apologetic to empathetic. The body rock and booty bounce of this songs production exudes confidence that will make listeners question their judgement less and roll with the punches.
In conclusion,this album isn't about a scene,a type, a brand. Tecla, her synth performance, dope lyrics and unique voice are all her own. Considering her already strong catalog of music, I imagine the future for Tecla will be bountiful, and I wont be surprised to find her fusing more styles and sounds into her collection. Much like Little Dragon and Bjork, I am sure that Tecla Esposito's career will be ever fresh, ever elevating and simply DOPE FOREVER.
buy Strangers In Masks on iTunes. and enjoy.