LIFE ON EARTH

Submitted by nonesuch on Tue, 09/28/2021 - 16:08
Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

LIFE ON EARTH, the Nonesuch debut of Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Segarra), is a departure for the Bronx-born, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter. Its eleven new "nature punk" tracks on the theme of survival are music for a world in flux—songs about thriving, not just surviving, while disaster is happening. The album was recorded during the pandemic with producer Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver, Kevin Morby). While making it, Segarra drew inspiration from the Clash, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Bad Bunny, and the author of Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown. "A major step forward for one of today's most vital artists," exclaims Uncut. "The first great album of 2022." Nonesuch Store LP and CD orders include a limited-edition print autographed by Segarra, while they last.

Description

The Nonesuch debut of Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Segarra), LIFE ON EARTH, released February 18, 2022, is a departure for the Bronx-born, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter. Its eleven new “nature punk” tracks on the theme of survival are music for a world in flux—songs about thriving, not just surviving, while disaster is happening. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include a limited-edition signed print while they last.

For her eighth full-length album, Segarra (they/she) drew inspiration from The Clash, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Bad Bunny, and the author of Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown. Recorded during the pandemic, Life on Earth was produced by Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver, Kevin Morby).

Life on Earth’s first single, “RHODODENDRON,” out today, is about “finding rebellion in plant life. Being called by the natural world and seeing the life that surrounds you in a way you never have. A mind expansion. A psychedelic trip. A spiritual breakthrough. Learning to adapt, and being open to the wisdom of your landscape. Being called to fix things in your own backyard, your own community,” says Segarra.

Of the “Rhododendron” video, which was directed by New Orleans-based artist Lucia Honey, Segarra says: “It is really far out and fun. I got this bodysuit that just looks like the inside of the human body. It looks like you’re skinless. It’s in a scene where I’m playing to an audience of plants. Just really absurd, but I put that suit on and I was like man, this feels really good. It feels like, ‘This is who I am. Let’s just take the skin off.’

“It reminds me a little bit of Kids in the Hall,” they continue. “With this ‘Rhododendron’ shoot, something clicked in me where I was like, ‘All I have to do is be myself.’ I had been thinking that I had to be something bigger than myself. I felt like I was just never quite making the mark and then something clicked where I was like, ‘I just gotta be me. I could do that. I could show up and be me. And if people don’t like it, then I don’t know what to fucking tell them.’ It was like a brain shift of, ‘Oh, this can be fun. It doesn’t have to be suffering.’ With so many videos and photo shoots before, it really felt like suffering. I felt so uncomfortable being perceived. I didn’t know who I was.”

Honey adds: “We wanted to create something surreal, playful, and saturated that indulged heavily in the aesthetic of the early ‘90s. Alynda and I had many overlapping visual and philosophical references which sparked the initial collaboration. We wanted to make this video an homage to Gregg Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse trilogy but as a nature documentary crossover. I came across Araki’s work as a queer teenager, and he’s always been a big inspiration. Sex, blood, punk rock, camp, etc.

“We live in a moment where the future is bleaker and more unknown than ever, so there becomes a deep comfort in nostalgia and reliving the past. Through our talks, I realized Alynda’s new album touches on many of these same subjects, but perhaps in reverse; running from a past that is always haunting you. Shifting into a more refined self/identity through confronting one’s trauma and baggage. It was easy to reach collaborative synergy for this video project because we’re both interested in tackling similar issues.”

Alynda Segarra was born and raised in the Bronx, which they left at the age of seventeen, running away from everything and everyone they knew, hopping freight trains or hitchhiking across the country in the company of a band of street urchins. Segarra moved to New Orleans in 2007 and formed two bands: Dead Man’s Street Orchestra and Hurray for the Riff Raff. In 2015, Segarra decamped to Nashville, then to New York, to make her most recent album, 2016’s critically praised The Navigator, an ambitious and fully realized concept album that was her quest to reclaim her Puerto Rican identity. Segarra’s previous records as Hurray for the Riff Raff are Crossing the Rubicon (EP, 2007), It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You (2008), Young Blood Blues (2010), Hurray for the Riff Raff (2011), Look Out Mama (2012), My Dearest Darkest Neighbor (2013), and Small Town Heroes (2014).

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Brad Cook
Recorded September—December 2020 at Puff City, Durham, NC
Engineered by Adam McDaniel & Brad Cook
Additional Engineering by Alli Rogers & Alex Farrar
Mixed by Jonathan Low
Mastered by Emily Lazar & Chris Allgood at The Lodge, NY

Photography by Akasha Rabut
Additional art by Pauly Lingerfelt
Design by Sarah Schmitt

"nightqueen" features a sample from On Being, ‘A Life Worthy of Our Breath’, with Ocean Vuong
"KiN" is a field recording by Alynda Segarra of Singing Oak, Wind, and Birds in City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana

ns_album_releasedate
Album Status
Artist Name
Hurray for the Riff Raff
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Alynda Segarra, vocals (1-10), synth (1, 2), fretless banjo (1), electric guitar (2, 3), drum loop (5), kalimba (5), acoustic guitar (4, 10), field recordings (11)
Brad Cook, drum programming (1, 8), synths (1, 2, 5-10), bass (3, 5, 7, 10), bass guitar (1, 4), electric guitar (1-3), background vocals (1), organ (3), Op1 (4), keys (5, 7), baritone guitar (10)
Phil Cook, organ (4, 6), piano (5, 6, 8, 9), keys (7), marimba (10)
Matt McCaughan, drums (2-4, 7-8, 10), drum programming (2, 8), field recordings (6)
Brevan Hampton, bongos (2), triangle (3)
Kellen Harrison, additional synths (2)
Adam McDaniel, modular synth (6, 7, 9)
Matt Douglas, saxophone (6, 7, 9, 10), clarinet (6)
Al Strong, trumpet (6, 9)
Evan Ringel, trombones (6, 9)
Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, background vocals (6, 9)
Jeremy Iylvasaker, electric guitar (8)

reissues?
new-release
Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
Clear LP+MP3+Print
Price
21.00
UPC
075597910780
Label
LP+MP3+Print
Price
19.00
UPC
075597912975
Label
CD+MP3+Print
Price
13.00
UPC
075597912982
Label
96/24 HD FLAC
Price
10.00
UPC
075597912968
Label
MP3
Price
9.00
UPC
075597912937

Track Listing

News & Reviews

  • Hurray for the Riff, aka Alynda Segarra, has released a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” as part of an Amazon Original series of covers of songs by the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees available only on Amazon Music. “What can you do with a classic song like this but dive in and explore the depths?” Segarra says. “My whole life I watched Annie Lennox sing it and she was so strong—superhero to me, with her suit and cropped hair. I vowed, as a kid, to one day be that unshakeable. But life happens to us all. So, I sing it today from a tender place, weary from the brutality of our world but not broken. As Annie told us all—hold your head up, keep your head up.” 

  • Hurray for the Riff Raff, who is currently touring North America as special guest of Bright Eyes, will join First Aid Kit on their West Coast tour in May 2023. The shows kick off at the Fox Theater in Oakland on May 15, followed by the Hollywood Palladium and stops in Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, and Vancouver, culminating at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle on May 24.

  • About This Album

    The Nonesuch debut of Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Segarra), LIFE ON EARTH, released February 18, 2022, is a departure for the Bronx-born, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter. Its eleven new “nature punk” tracks on the theme of survival are music for a world in flux—songs about thriving, not just surviving, while disaster is happening. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include a limited-edition signed print while they last.

    For her eighth full-length album, Segarra (they/she) drew inspiration from The Clash, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Bad Bunny, and the author of Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown. Recorded during the pandemic, Life on Earth was produced by Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver, Kevin Morby).

    Life on Earth’s first single, “RHODODENDRON,” out today, is about “finding rebellion in plant life. Being called by the natural world and seeing the life that surrounds you in a way you never have. A mind expansion. A psychedelic trip. A spiritual breakthrough. Learning to adapt, and being open to the wisdom of your landscape. Being called to fix things in your own backyard, your own community,” says Segarra.

    Of the “Rhododendron” video, which was directed by New Orleans-based artist Lucia Honey, Segarra says: “It is really far out and fun. I got this bodysuit that just looks like the inside of the human body. It looks like you’re skinless. It’s in a scene where I’m playing to an audience of plants. Just really absurd, but I put that suit on and I was like man, this feels really good. It feels like, ‘This is who I am. Let’s just take the skin off.’

    “It reminds me a little bit of Kids in the Hall,” they continue. “With this ‘Rhododendron’ shoot, something clicked in me where I was like, ‘All I have to do is be myself.’ I had been thinking that I had to be something bigger than myself. I felt like I was just never quite making the mark and then something clicked where I was like, ‘I just gotta be me. I could do that. I could show up and be me. And if people don’t like it, then I don’t know what to fucking tell them.’ It was like a brain shift of, ‘Oh, this can be fun. It doesn’t have to be suffering.’ With so many videos and photo shoots before, it really felt like suffering. I felt so uncomfortable being perceived. I didn’t know who I was.”

    Honey adds: “We wanted to create something surreal, playful, and saturated that indulged heavily in the aesthetic of the early ‘90s. Alynda and I had many overlapping visual and philosophical references which sparked the initial collaboration. We wanted to make this video an homage to Gregg Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse trilogy but as a nature documentary crossover. I came across Araki’s work as a queer teenager, and he’s always been a big inspiration. Sex, blood, punk rock, camp, etc.

    “We live in a moment where the future is bleaker and more unknown than ever, so there becomes a deep comfort in nostalgia and reliving the past. Through our talks, I realized Alynda’s new album touches on many of these same subjects, but perhaps in reverse; running from a past that is always haunting you. Shifting into a more refined self/identity through confronting one’s trauma and baggage. It was easy to reach collaborative synergy for this video project because we’re both interested in tackling similar issues.”

    Alynda Segarra was born and raised in the Bronx, which they left at the age of seventeen, running away from everything and everyone they knew, hopping freight trains or hitchhiking across the country in the company of a band of street urchins. Segarra moved to New Orleans in 2007 and formed two bands: Dead Man’s Street Orchestra and Hurray for the Riff Raff. In 2015, Segarra decamped to Nashville, then to New York, to make her most recent album, 2016’s critically praised The Navigator, an ambitious and fully realized concept album that was her quest to reclaim her Puerto Rican identity. Segarra’s previous records as Hurray for the Riff Raff are Crossing the Rubicon (EP, 2007), It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You (2008), Young Blood Blues (2010), Hurray for the Riff Raff (2011), Look Out Mama (2012), My Dearest Darkest Neighbor (2013), and Small Town Heroes (2014).

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Alynda Segarra, vocals (1-10), synth (1, 2), fretless banjo (1), electric guitar (2, 3), drum loop (5), kalimba (5), acoustic guitar (4, 10), field recordings (11)
    Brad Cook, drum programming (1, 8), synths (1, 2, 5-10), bass (3, 5, 7, 10), bass guitar (1, 4), electric guitar (1-3), background vocals (1), organ (3), Op1 (4), keys (5, 7), baritone guitar (10)
    Phil Cook, organ (4, 6), piano (5, 6, 8, 9), keys (7), marimba (10)
    Matt McCaughan, drums (2-4, 7-8, 10), drum programming (2, 8), field recordings (6)
    Brevan Hampton, bongos (2), triangle (3)
    Kellen Harrison, additional synths (2)
    Adam McDaniel, modular synth (6, 7, 9)
    Matt Douglas, saxophone (6, 7, 9, 10), clarinet (6)
    Al Strong, trumpet (6, 9)
    Evan Ringel, trombones (6, 9)
    Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, background vocals (6, 9)
    Jeremy Iylvasaker, electric guitar (8)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Brad Cook
    Recorded September—December 2020 at Puff City, Durham, NC
    Engineered by Adam McDaniel & Brad Cook
    Additional Engineering by Alli Rogers & Alex Farrar
    Mixed by Jonathan Low
    Mastered by Emily Lazar & Chris Allgood at The Lodge, NY

    Photography by Akasha Rabut
    Additional art by Pauly Lingerfelt
    Design by Sarah Schmitt

    "nightqueen" features a sample from On Being, ‘A Life Worthy of Our Breath’, with Ocean Vuong
    "KiN" is a field recording by Alynda Segarra of Singing Oak, Wind, and Birds in City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana