The Midweekly – Hurray For The Riff Raff

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Snapshots and clips of detailed close-ups and wide angles, like a montage of moments, with or without context, set to some fine tunes. That’s Life On Earth, the obvious yet appropriate title of the latest record from Hurray For The Riff Raff, a New Orleans based group led by singer-songwriter Alynda Segarra, with an adventurous background that involves hobos, freight trains, and Puerto Rico. LOE is also the title track that sits in the middle of the album like a center of gravity for the rest. The minimalism of its piano and horn combo is graceful in itself, but also allows Segarra’s terrific voice and words to be prominent. This minimal production style is a theme on many songs, but on others like the big percussion, indie rock guitars, and even a bit of dark pop keeps the montage from getting repetitive. From that center there are feelings of joy and appreciation in the lyrics, but throughout the track list there is also fear, like on the opener “Wolves,” passion in “Jupiter’s Dance,” and sadness in “Precious Cargo,” a take on the struggles of immigrants. HFTRR has put together a really good one here that finds something beautiful not just in the words and notes but the spaces in between them, too.

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