Hurray for the Riff Raff Shares Two New Singles, "Colossus of Roads" and "Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)," From New Album

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Hurray for the Riff Raff, aka Alynda Segarra, has released "Colossus of Roads” and Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive),” two new tracks from their upcoming album, The Past Is Still Alive, due February 23. "I've only had this experience a couple of times, where a song falls on me—it’s all there, and I don't do anything," Segarra says. "Writing ‘Colossus of Roads’ felt like creating a space where all us outsiders can be safe together. That doesn’t exist, but it exists in our minds, and it exists in this song—this one is sacred to me. I’ve also always wanted to make my version of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Was Young When I Left Home,’ and ‘Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)’ is it.” 

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Hurray for the Riff Raff, aka Alynda Segarra, has released “Colossus of Roads” and "Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive),” two new tracks from their upcoming album, The Past Is Still Alive, due February 23 on Nonesuch. The album has already been hailed as one of 2024’s most anticipated releases by the Wall Street Journal, Guardian, NPR Music, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and more.

On “Colossus of Roads,” written in one tearful sitting during the aftermath of the Club Q shooting, they share a love song for the queer, the vulnerable and the dispossessed. As Segarra calls to idols like poet Eileen Myles and boxcar artist buZ blurr, the song offers a tribute to outsider culture, and the collective fight to survive and thrive despite violence.

“Colossus of Roads” arrives alongside “Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive),” Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “memoiristic showstopper” (Rolling Stone). A memory box presented in the form of a sweeping song, Alynda Segarra revisits formative moments and childhood trips with family, as well as the community, grief, and passion they discovered when they decided to leave it all behind and never stop running. Peeing in the bushes while they wait to hop a freight train, lighting campfires on superfund sites, making moonlit love on an island of trash, shoplifting for food, and playing music with a barrel of freaks – their itinerant adventures serve as a reminder that there are always other ways to live, underlined by an urgent demand: “TEST YOUR DRUGS, REMEMBER NARCAN. There’s a war on the people, what don’t you understand?”

You can read the lyrics for both songs at Oxford American here.

“I’ve only had this experience a couple of times, where a song falls on me—it’s all there, and I don’t do anything," Segarra says. "Writing ‘Colossus of Roads’ felt like creating a space where all us outsiders can be safe together. That doesn’t exist, but it exists in our minds, and it exists in this song—this one is sacred to me. I’ve also always wanted to make my version of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Was Young When I Left Home,’ and ‘Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)’ is it.” 

Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Kevin Morby, Waxahatchee), and recorded in Durham, NC, just a month after the passing of Alynda Segarra’s father, The Past Is Still Alive grapples with time, memory, love, and loss. “Colossus of Roads” and “Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)” follow lead single “Alibi,” a reckoning with addiction set in NYC’s Lower East Side, and a pleading effort to get through to a loved one who might already be gone. The album brings a new beginning in Segarra’s evolution as a storyteller, while also widening their cast of collaborators to include Anjimile, Conor Oberst, Meg Duffy, Mike Mogis, Phil Cook, S.G. Goodman and more across the eleven tracks.

Earlier this week, Segarra previewed the album in a special event at New York City’s historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, featuring poetry readings from Amelia Jackie, Cookie Hagendorf, and Sadie Dupuis (of Speedy Ortiz), an intimate performance and more in partnership with Poetry Project. On February 21, Segarra will receive The People’s Voice Award at Folk Alliance International’s 2024 International Folk Music Awards, and on February 25, they will begin to showcase the music of The Past Is Still Alive on a spring tour of dozens of shows throughout the United States and Europe. In partnership with PLUS1, $1 per ticket will support This Must Be The Place and their work to distribute Naloxone—the lifesaving medicine that reverses an overdose, and will be available for free at every Hurray for the Riff Raff tour stop. Find the full list of shows below and tickets at nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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Hurray for the Riff Raff: "Colossus of Roads," "Snake Plant" [videos]
  • Thursday, January 25, 2024
    Hurray for the Riff Raff Shares Two New Singles, "Colossus of Roads" and "Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)," From New Album

    Hurray for the Riff Raff, aka Alynda Segarra, has released “Colossus of Roads” and "Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive),” two new tracks from their upcoming album, The Past Is Still Alive, due February 23 on Nonesuch. The album has already been hailed as one of 2024’s most anticipated releases by the Wall Street Journal, Guardian, NPR Music, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and more.

    On “Colossus of Roads,” written in one tearful sitting during the aftermath of the Club Q shooting, they share a love song for the queer, the vulnerable and the dispossessed. As Segarra calls to idols like poet Eileen Myles and boxcar artist buZ blurr, the song offers a tribute to outsider culture, and the collective fight to survive and thrive despite violence.

    “Colossus of Roads” arrives alongside “Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive),” Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “memoiristic showstopper” (Rolling Stone). A memory box presented in the form of a sweeping song, Alynda Segarra revisits formative moments and childhood trips with family, as well as the community, grief, and passion they discovered when they decided to leave it all behind and never stop running. Peeing in the bushes while they wait to hop a freight train, lighting campfires on superfund sites, making moonlit love on an island of trash, shoplifting for food, and playing music with a barrel of freaks – their itinerant adventures serve as a reminder that there are always other ways to live, underlined by an urgent demand: “TEST YOUR DRUGS, REMEMBER NARCAN. There’s a war on the people, what don’t you understand?”

    You can read the lyrics for both songs at Oxford American here.

    “I’ve only had this experience a couple of times, where a song falls on me—it’s all there, and I don’t do anything," Segarra says. "Writing ‘Colossus of Roads’ felt like creating a space where all us outsiders can be safe together. That doesn’t exist, but it exists in our minds, and it exists in this song—this one is sacred to me. I’ve also always wanted to make my version of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Was Young When I Left Home,’ and ‘Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)’ is it.” 

    Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Kevin Morby, Waxahatchee), and recorded in Durham, NC, just a month after the passing of Alynda Segarra’s father, The Past Is Still Alive grapples with time, memory, love, and loss. “Colossus of Roads” and “Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)” follow lead single “Alibi,” a reckoning with addiction set in NYC’s Lower East Side, and a pleading effort to get through to a loved one who might already be gone. The album brings a new beginning in Segarra’s evolution as a storyteller, while also widening their cast of collaborators to include Anjimile, Conor Oberst, Meg Duffy, Mike Mogis, Phil Cook, S.G. Goodman and more across the eleven tracks.

    Earlier this week, Segarra previewed the album in a special event at New York City’s historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, featuring poetry readings from Amelia Jackie, Cookie Hagendorf, and Sadie Dupuis (of Speedy Ortiz), an intimate performance and more in partnership with Poetry Project. On February 21, Segarra will receive The People’s Voice Award at Folk Alliance International’s 2024 International Folk Music Awards, and on February 25, they will begin to showcase the music of The Past Is Still Alive on a spring tour of dozens of shows throughout the United States and Europe. In partnership with PLUS1, $1 per ticket will support This Must Be The Place and their work to distribute Naloxone—the lifesaving medicine that reverses an overdose, and will be available for free at every Hurray for the Riff Raff tour stop. Find the full list of shows below and tickets at nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    Journal Articles:Artist NewsVideo

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