“Pierced Arrows” by Hurray For The Riff Raff

The new year is looming, getting closer, I don’t need to squint to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m readying myself for a year of creative motivation. Not so much a resolution, but a challenge, or maybe it’s more like permission to set my attentions and energy on my passions – and not on everyone else. Those I love, including my children, are all adults now – whatever “adults” means – but my point to myself here is that its okay for me to take time to take care of me now, and to make some of these creative ideas and endeavors happen. Here’s to the almost new year. Hurray (pun-intended).

I first encountered Hurray For The Riff Raff when they trio-ed up with Bedouine and Waxahatchee to cover Big Star’s “Thirteen” – one of my all-time favorite songs. Their version made it on to many a playlist during pandemic times, and led me to dig in to each of the three’s own music. Hurray For The Riff Raff released LIFE ON EARTH this year, and I’ve been spinning it ever since its release. My first listen favorite was “RHODODENDRON”, but today’s Song of the Day was a close first favorite, and one I’ve been listening to a lot this week.

“Pierced Arrows” by Hurray For The Riff Raff
Song of the Day

“Trying to avoid running into my ex on Broadway.
No one recognizes me anymore,
girl, I’m lonely.
Vampires and thieves,
someone will bleed.
Will it be me?
Rich kids who wanted everything.
Holding the bow while my ears ring.”

At first listen, “PIERCED ARROWS” feels like a song about loneliness and heartbreak. The more I listen, the more I hear escape, running away from pain, denial, and yes, more loneliness and heartbreak. Alynda Segarra (Hurray For The Riff Raff) describes the song like this:

“Pierced Arrows,” which Segarra says is “a heartbreak song, lost in the realm of memory. Being stuck in the past, and finding the rapidly changing world uncanny and bizarre. Trying to outrun trauma. Finding a meeting place between tough and tender. Memory replaying inside/beside you, triggering fight or flight responses.” (from Stereogum)

Alynda Segarra/Hurray For The Riff Raff

I am obsessed with the music video for “PIERCED ARROWS” which was directed by New Orleans artist Lucia Honey. Lucia explains her vision for the video as:

“We took inspiration from arthouse cinema from the turn of the millennium,” Honey explains. “Run Lola RunRequiem For A DreamMy Own Private Idaho. We wanted ‘Pierced Arrows’ to have a gritty narrative feel but that still indulged in a surrealist aesthetic. The song lends itself to a narrative climax. The first time I heard it, I felt like I was in the middle of a brewing storm. I couldn’t escape the reference to Hurricane Ida, which hit Southern Louisiana hard in late August. This blended well with themes from Alynda’s song which is largely about running from a past that always catches up to you. Hence physical running in industrial landscapes. Metal. Trainyards. Escapism. Cold anxiety. Being stuck in a trauma loop.” (from Stereogum)

Hurray for the Riff Raff is a band from New Orleans, formed with changing members by Alynda Segarra, a singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York, after they had moved to New Orleans in 2007. Hurray originally performed different styles of folk music while releasing several albums independently.

Alynda lives in New Orleans, is non-binary, and uses they/them pronouns. (from Wikipedia)

If you want to hear more from Alynda and Hurray For The Riff Raff, like I do, run run run HERE now.

Alynda Segarra/Hurray For The Riff Raff

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