Like life itself, Tianna Esperanza’s Terror has moments of both trauma and humor – and it gets my early vote for Album of the Year.
Esperanza comes from rock royalty, so it’s not surprising that she’s this versatile. Her grandmother is Paloma McLardy aka Palmolive, the drummer and founder of the legendary UK punk band The Slits. Tianna grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the affluent, primarily white resort town. That’s one reason why her worldview is so wide-ranging. She counts both Nina Simone and Eminem as huge musical influences.
With songs that shift from stark to sassy, this album has something for everyone. The title track is a harrowing retelling of her sibling’s sexual abuse and death. “Princess Slit and The Raincoat Prince” is a punk-flavored tribute to her grandmother, while “Buy You A New Attitude” has attitude to spare. In the song’s video, Tianna dances with young sailors in a spoof of old Gene Kelly movies. But 1950s films never had lines like this: “I emasculate every man I meet, I try not to but they can’t stand up to me.”
Says Tianna: “I wanted to honor every part of me on this album. I knew that I had a story. But there’s so much more that I haven’t spoken about. I’m saving that for my sophomore album and everything else to come.”
Terror is a work of extraordinary depth and stylistic range. In short, it’s a “make you cry, make you laugh” masterpiece.
Watch the video for “Buy You A New Attitude” below, or listen to the whole album on your favorite streamer.
Tianna Esperanza’s debut album Terror is out now. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.