Posts Tagged ‘Alynda Segarra’

On her earlier albums, Alynda Segarra (aka Hurray For the Riff Raff) explored the troubadour wanderings and raffish sounds of Americana. On the 29 year old’s visionary new work,  The Navigator she brings it all back home, re-connecting to her buried Puerto Rican roots. In the process, Segarra struck an original mix of roiling bomba rhythms and catchy New York rock. Drawing inspiration from Ziggy Stardust  , she conceived ‘The Navigator’ as a sci-fi tinged concept album, tracing the life of a character named Navita Milagros Negron through a metaphysical world. The lyrics present the story as a play, with allusions to the Latin political group of the ’70s, The Young Lords and verse from Puerto Rican poet Pedro Pietri. Segarra’s catchy songs connect the dots in the long lineage of Latin influences on popular music, from the street-corner harmonies of doo-wop to the romantic hits of the Brill Building to the Latin-rock of acts from Mink DeVille to The Ghetto Brothers. A song like “Living In The City”  sounds like something Lou Reed could have cut in the early ’70s, delivered with righteous fervor by Segarra’s resonant vibrato. Themes of gentrification and cultural appropriation anchor the story. Properly staged, ‘The Navigator’ could become a rock opera for our time.

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Creators of one of 2017s most acclaimed albums The Navigator, NYC outfit Hurray For the Riff Raff bring their genre blending Americana to the U.K in October.  
Led by NYC born Puerto Rican songwriter Alynda Segarra, a move from New Orleans back to her hometown provided the inspiration for the LP. 
Recipient of exceptional praise with a full five stars from The Observer, critics were united in praise with plaudits including 9/10 from Uncut, 8.1 from Pitchfork and four star write ups from Q, Mojo and The Skinny. 
Beautifully arranged by Michael Kiwanuka producer Paul Butler, “The Navigator” defies categorisation, drawing from cult favourite Rodriguez, Lou Reed, doo-wop, Motown and traditional Afro-Caribbean and Puerto Rican music. An inspired modern take on Americana, don’t miss the chance to see one of this year’s finest albums live at close quarters.

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