Chancletas D’Oro, XUXA SANTAMARIA’s third release and second full-length LP, is a loose concept album focused on exploring femme and womxn narratives drawn from both history and works of fiction. Side A employs reimagined myths, fables, and original fictional narratives to create songs that challenge or obfuscate the received ideas around feminine agency, motivations, and desire. In Puro Animal and King Marsile, Córdova recasts fictional characters (from “Dracula” and “The Song of Roland” respectively) who originally were little more than victims or mute accomplices within their narratives as willing participants in their own corruption or liberation; White Pine uses the text of an early 20th century poem about tribal life in the Pacific Northwest, written by a white trapper, as a means to simultaneously twist and redirect the white gaze in on itself while still celebrating the knowledge of land and sea possessed by this continent’s first peoples. The Borges-inspired Rudos Del Mar, written while Córdova was traveling along the coast of Chile, details the odyssey of a group of pirates patrolling the seas beyond the edges of language, reason, and time; closing out the side, Color Of The Dark is a (comparatively) straightforward ode to lust, love, and ego disintegration between bodies of color within the darkness of a dance club.
Side B pulls from historical narratives, with subjects ranging from queer silent film star Alla Nazimova in Jardin de Alla to the Puerto Rican syndicalist and feminist pioneer Luisa Capetillo in ¿Quien Lleva Los Pantalones? The last three tracks of the album follow the stories of collective and individual revolutionary womxn; in River Neva, the International Women’s Day March in 1917 which kickstarted the Russian Revolution and the massacre on Bloody Sunday over a decade earlier drift into each other, as the lyrics imagine the march morphing into a psychedelic battleground on a frozen river covered with blood. Heaven’s Gate Path dramatizes the work of the womxn truck drivers of the North Vietnamese army, who risked life and limb to transport vital goods during the American War of Imperial Aggression (known in the U.S. as ‘the Vietnam War’), following them through humid jungles bombarded by artillery and fire, while ¿Quien Lleva Los Pantalones? closes out the album by using the story of the Puerto Rican syndicalist movement and Luisa Capetillo to meditate on the struggle for freedom, not only from the injustices of US empire but from the confines of gender roles and tradition.