Tag: Hurray for the Riff Raff

New Video: Up-and-Coming Austin Indie Rock Act Sun June Explore and Celebrate Loss with Cinematic Single and Visuals

Comprised of founding members Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury, along with Michael Bain (guitar), Sarah Schultz (drums), and Justin Harris (bass), the Austin, TX-based indie rock act Sun June can trace their origins to when its founding duo of Colwell and Salisbury started the band while working very long hours in Terrence Malick’s editing rooms, practicing whenever Malick was out of town. 

Last year, the band began working on their forthcoming full-length album Years with Evan Kaspar at Estuary Recording Facility, recording the material live to tape without being overly polished or processed. As the band notes, the album is a “we’ve-been-broken-up-along-time” album, and explores how loss — of friends, family members and partners — evolves over time; but while not being too heavy or too serious. Interestingly enough, at the time, Keeled Scales Records’ Tony Presley lived above the studio and first heard the band playing through the floorboards, and immediately contacted and signed the band to the label, who will be releasing the album on June 15, 2018. So far, the band has built up quite a bit of buzz with several crowd wooing sets at this year’s SXSW and they’ve received attention from Spotify’s Fresh Finds and NPR’s Staff Picks. And adding to a growing profile, the band is playing alongside Waxahatchee, Bedouine, and Hurray for the Riff Raff at the Levitation after-party this weekend. 

Album opening track “Discotheque” is an atmospheric and slow-burning track featuring an arrangement of shimmering guitar chords, shuffling drums paired with achingly tender and gorgeous vocals, and the song manages to evoke a complex array of 
profoundly inescapable loss but with a sense of pride and celebration; after all, to truly live is to know, accept, and live with loss because it meant you knew love and connection with another, even if it were briefly. And somehow, some way, life pushes you forward no matter what. 

Directed and edited by Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury, the recently released video for “Discotheque” is eccentric yet cinematic as it follows Colwell and Salisbury as they drive around a boring and average American suburban development that’s somewhere between the hope of being built up and disastrously incomplete — and they do so in a daze of amazement, loss and confusion. 

New Audio: Hurray for the Riff Raff Release Their Most Danceable, Most Politically Charged Album to Date

Featuring The Bronx, NY-born, New Orleans, LA-based founding member, creative mastermind and frontperson Alynda Segarra and her bandmates Yosi Perlstein, David Jamison, and Caitlin Gray, Hurray for the Riff Raff first came to prominence after they had been featured in an article in The Times based around the HBO TV series Treme with their single “Daniela” being listed in the paper’s playlist of essential songs by contemporary artists from New Orleans — and for a sound that drew from folk, country, bluegrass and Americana paired with lyrics that approached traditional Americana themes in an unconventional way. After releasing a series of EPs and two full-length albums — one was self released through the band’s label, the other released through a small, indie label, the band’s third full-length effort, Small Town Heroes was released through ATO Records, marking that album as their major label debut. And unsurprisingly, the band’s national and international profile grew exponentially.

The New Orleans-based band’s highly anticipated follow-up to Small Town Heroes, The Navigator was produced by Paul Butler, known for his work with Michael Kiwanuka, St. Paul and The Broken Bones and Devendra Banhart. Slated for a March 10, 2017 release through ATO Records, The Navigator is reportedly both a thematic and sonic departure for the band — thematically, the album tells a deeply interwoven, cinematic story about a wandering soul named Navita, who finds herself at the crossroads of personal identity and ancestral weight, traveling across a perpetually burning city in search of her true self, while addressing many of the urgent, sociopolitical issues of our increasingly uncertain and dangerous times. But perhaps more important, while all of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s material drew from Segarra’s experience, the new album holds a much deeper, personal weight drawing from the many uneasy questions, answers and compromises that come about as a minority in the world — with the most important being “what does it mean to be prideful of your heritage in a world and society that frequently asks you to not be too proud?”

Sonically, as you’ll hear from The Navigator’s percussive first single “Rican Beach,” the album finds the band delving deeper into Latin rhythms and styles — in particular salsa, boogaloo and bomba, giving the single one of the tightest and most dance floor-friendly grooves they’ve ever written. But at the core of the song are lyrics that capture a frightening sense of uncertainty, subtly asking “well, who will protect me or my neighbors, who will speak for us if the authorities begin to round us up?” while simultaneously being a call to resist, to “live your life as a form of protest,” as the great Saul Williams once said.

As Segarra explains of both the single and of the album’s material “This is dedicated to the water protectors of Standing Rock – thank you for your bravery and giving us hope. Also, to the people of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, who are demanding an end to the AES dumping of coal ash which leads to water contamination – we are with you.

All over the world, the are heroes, who despite suffering generations of oppression, are protecting the land the future of our humanity. Rican Beach is a fictional place, but it was written with my ancestors in mind. It’s time to call on yours and to always remember: this land was made for you and me.”

Summerstage Preview Showcase at the Highline Ballroom 1/9/14 featuring Rebel Tumbao, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Yuna

In 1986 the City Parks Foundation created Summerstage in the spirt of Central Park’s original purpose — to serve as a free, public resource to help culturally enrich the lives of New Yorkers. That first season of the program had […]