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Hurray For The Riff Raff|The Past Is Still Alive

The Past Is Still Alive

Hurray For The Riff Raff

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Infused with the spirit of Peter Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alynda Segarram aka Hurray for the Riff Raff, felt a duty to raise their own voice in protest against injustice. But as the title here suggests, age and mortality has given Segarra perspective and turned autobiography into the most vital subject. Born in the Bronx but having long been based in New Orleans, Segerra has christened their brand of folk rock "nature punk."  The personal trauma of their father's death a month before the recording sessions may be the spark behind a tune like "Snake Plant (The Past is Still Alive)," which begins: "I only ever wanted to be a good daughter." 

Vivid snapshots of a life spent bouncing from coast-to-coast flash by: "Campfire on the superfund site/ Garbage island fucking in the moonlight/ Play my song for the barrel of freaks/ And we go shoplifting when it's time to eat." After a stark warning seemingly born of experience ("Test your drugs/ Remember Narcan"), Segarra cuts to the sinew, "I was young when I left home/ I never stopped running/ Used to think I was alone/ But nothing can stop me now." Singing about being "very vulnerable, very fair, very raw," has softened Hurray for the Riff Raff's melodies.

The Past is Still Alive was recorded in North Carolina in the studio of Brad Cook, who also recorded and produced its predecessor, Life on Earth. (Drummer Yan Westerlund, guitarist Meg Duffy, fiddler Libby Rodenbough, saxophonist Matt Douglas, and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, all return.)  On an album full of laments, "The World is Dangerous," a slow waltz-like duet with Conor Oberst, is the moment where tenderness breaks out into the open. Although Segarra opens with the assertion: "Your dreams are not your dreams/ They're only visions of what you need … Everyone's looking for someone to use," they continue that they "Won't stop dreaming/ Because this world is dangerous." It's a telling portrait of an artist practiced at torturing themselves but also aware that life, in the end, may actually be worth the trouble. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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The Past Is Still Alive

Hurray For The Riff Raff

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1
Alibi
00:02:48

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Shaker - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2023 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

2
Buffalo
00:03:42

Mike Mogis, Pedal Steel Guitar, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ, Piano, Dobro - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Shaker - Yan Westerlund, Drums - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

3
Hawkmoon
00:03:42

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, Wurlitzer, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Shaker - Meg Duffy, Electric Guitar - Yan Westerlund, Drums - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

4
Colossus of Roads
00:02:45

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, Synthesizer, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ, Piano, Dobro - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Shaker - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

5
Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive) Explicit
00:04:07

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ, Marimba, Wurlitzer - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmony Vocals, Shaker - Matt Douglas, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone - Meg Duffy, Electric Guitar, Harmony Vocals, Synthesizer Guitar - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

6
Vetiver
00:03:52

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ, Wurlitzer - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Shaker - Meg Duffy, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

7
Hourglass
00:02:50

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ, Piano - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Shaker - Libby Rodenbough, Fiddle - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

8
Dynamo
00:03:07

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, Vibraphone, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmony Vocals, Shaker - Meg Duffy, Electric Guitar - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer - SG Goodman, Harmony Vocals

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

9
The World Is Dangerous
00:03:45

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Connor Oberst, Harmony Vocals - Brad Cook, Producer, Bass Guitar, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer - Libby Rodenbough, Fiddle - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

10
Ogallala
00:04:59

Mike Mogis, Pedal Steel Guitar, Synth Bass, Synthesizer, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Phil Cook, Organ, Piano - Alynda Segarra, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer, Harmony Vocals, Shaker - Matt Douglas, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone - Meg Duffy, Harmony Vocals - Anjimile, Harmony Vocals - Yan Westerlund, Drums, Tambourine - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

11
Kiko Forever
00:01:02

Mike Mogis, MixingEngineer - Brad Cook, Producer, RecordingEngineer - Heba Kadry, MasteringEngineer - Hurray For The Riff Raff, MainArtist - Alynda Segarra, Writer, Programming - Paul Voran, RecordingEngineer - Jose Enrique "Kiko" Segarra, Keyboards, Vocals

© 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2024 Hurray for the Riff Raff, LLC, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

Album review

Infused with the spirit of Peter Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alynda Segarram aka Hurray for the Riff Raff, felt a duty to raise their own voice in protest against injustice. But as the title here suggests, age and mortality has given Segarra perspective and turned autobiography into the most vital subject. Born in the Bronx but having long been based in New Orleans, Segerra has christened their brand of folk rock "nature punk."  The personal trauma of their father's death a month before the recording sessions may be the spark behind a tune like "Snake Plant (The Past is Still Alive)," which begins: "I only ever wanted to be a good daughter." 

Vivid snapshots of a life spent bouncing from coast-to-coast flash by: "Campfire on the superfund site/ Garbage island fucking in the moonlight/ Play my song for the barrel of freaks/ And we go shoplifting when it's time to eat." After a stark warning seemingly born of experience ("Test your drugs/ Remember Narcan"), Segarra cuts to the sinew, "I was young when I left home/ I never stopped running/ Used to think I was alone/ But nothing can stop me now." Singing about being "very vulnerable, very fair, very raw," has softened Hurray for the Riff Raff's melodies.

The Past is Still Alive was recorded in North Carolina in the studio of Brad Cook, who also recorded and produced its predecessor, Life on Earth. (Drummer Yan Westerlund, guitarist Meg Duffy, fiddler Libby Rodenbough, saxophonist Matt Douglas, and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, all return.)  On an album full of laments, "The World is Dangerous," a slow waltz-like duet with Conor Oberst, is the moment where tenderness breaks out into the open. Although Segarra opens with the assertion: "Your dreams are not your dreams/ They're only visions of what you need … Everyone's looking for someone to use," they continue that they "Won't stop dreaming/ Because this world is dangerous." It's a telling portrait of an artist practiced at torturing themselves but also aware that life, in the end, may actually be worth the trouble. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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