Hurray For The Riff Raff Releases New Album Reminding Us to Look To Our Roots

Photo By Sarrah Danziger

Photo By Sarrah Danziger

By Richard Gonzalez

If we can find any positivity in what we will have to endure for the next four years, we can find it in knowing that artists like Hurray For The Riff Raff will be leading their own personal resistance, and that there will be a creative outpouring of like minded individuals to help shape the inevitable shift back to sanity. On March 10th, the band will release The Navigator, which focuses on lead member Alynda Segarra’s Puerto Rican roots and is peppered with themes of resistance, pride and empowerment found in being Latinx.

“I feel like my generation, through groups like Black Lives Matter, is really focusing on that type of intersectionality—if one of us is not free, then none of us are free”

The album opens like a broadway play and sets the groundwork for a narrative driven by the album’s main character, The Navigator, a woman named Navita Milagros Negron. As the album progresses, the story of a young girl unfolds. Negron is a woman growing up in a big city like New York, (or the Puerto Rican Bronx as Segarra did) trying to find her place in the world but still feeling the need to be connected to her roots and etch out a place for herself in the grander scale of her ancestry. The album has moments within it that are so perfectly woven into the narrative that you can’t help but get sucked into the main character’s world.

“The Navigator’s role is to tell the story, tell it to the people who don’t know their own story, so they can be free.”

On one of the album’s stand out tracks, “Pa’lante,” she inserts a sampled voice of legendary poet Pedro Pietri reading from “The Puerto Rican Obituary,” and on the lead single, “Rican Beach,”  she addresses issues of water contamination like those surrounding Flint, Michigan and Standing Rock in comparison to similar issues in rural areas of her native Puerto Rico. Over the course of the album’s twelve tracks, you can’t help but be inspired to assess the situations that surround us in the current political climate and realize that you need to find your role in resisting all forms of oppression that surround the Latinx community at the moment. The album makes clear the need to have a better understanding of our roots, and to research and empower ourselves to study exactly how new policies will shape our community. In a recent interview with Brooklyn Vegan, Segarra was asked if she had any advice for Latinx people during the Trump administration. She sums things up perfectly:

“I feel like the advice I have is more for white people really. For people who are born here who have that privilege and are not scared of the terrorism that’s happening to Latinx people right now. My advice to white people is this is not a time to sleep on their solidarity. This is the time to really use your privilege to stand up for people, and to show the Latinx community that you appreciate the contributions that we’ve made to this country, and that you’re not going to let us be erased.”

The Navigator will be released on March 10th, but you can stream it via NPR right now.

Hurray For Riff Raff Tour Dates:

03/08 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right

03/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever

03/15 - Austin, TX @ Stubb’s BBQ (SXSW)

03/17 - Austin, TX @ Fryedays Showcase (SXSW)

03/17 - Austin, TX @ South By San Jose (SXSW)

04/15 - Middlebury, VT @ Middlebury College - McCullough Student Center

04/16 - Northhampton, MA @ Academy of Music Theater

04/18 & 19 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

04/20 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

04/21 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

04/23 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

04/24 - Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theater

04/25 - Cleveland, OH @Beachland Ballroom

04/27 - Ferndale, MI @ The Magic Bag

04/28 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall

04/29 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon

04/30 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe

05/02 - St Louis, MO @ Old Rock House

05/03 - Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge

05/04 - Birmingham, AL @ Saturn

05/05 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theater

06/02 - Dallas, TX @ Trees

06/03 - Houston, TX @ Free Press Summer Fest

06/04 - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk

06/06 - Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf

06/07 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom

06/09 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom

06/10 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theater

06/11 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

06/13 - Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall

06/15 - Vancouver, Canada @ Imperial

06/16 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile

06/18 - Boise, ID @ The Olympic Venue

06/19 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

06/21 - Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater