Song of the Day: Hurray for the Riff Raff – Rican Beach

photo by Alex Crick

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Rican Beach” by Hurray for the Riff Raff, from their 2017 album, The Navigator, on ATO Records.

Hurray for the Riff Raff – Rican Beach (MP3)Alynda Lee Segarra, the force behind Hurray for the Riff Raff, was born and raised in the Bronx in a Puerto Rican family. During her adolescence, she tried out the various music scenes in New York City but never found a specific place she felt at home. At age 17, she packed up and hitchhiked her way across the country, before finally settling in New Orleans. Hurray for the Riff Raff has been known for their strong social justice stance in their music, but the latest album, The Navigator, is a politically charged collection of all of Segarra’s identities and how they affected her growing up.

Today’s featured song, “Rican Beach”, the lead single off the new record, describes a fictional city that has been gentrified and segregated to the point that it’s unrecognizable. The track is built on Latin beats with a NOLA twist, letting Segarra’s vocals fluctuate between delicate and forceful. In the chorus, she softly sings, “You can take my life, but don’t take my home,” and by the end of the song she repeats with increasing intensity, “I’ll keep fighting ‘til the end.” Upon the track’s release, Segarra dedicated the song to two groups of protestors: the water protectors of Standing Rock, and the people of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, who are demanding an end to the dumping of coal ash in landfills.

Hurray for the Riff Raff will be making their way to Seattle by the beginning of the summer to play a headline show at The Crocodile on June 16th. Until then, keep up with their Facebook page and check out the official video for “Rican Beach” below.

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