“Something’s Wrong” by Hurray for the Riff Raff
My favorite songs are the simplest ones, the ones that evoke a lot of emotion with very few words. As a songwriter myself, I know what a difficult feat that is to achieve. Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Something’s Wrong,” with sparse language, the most basic melody, and Alynda’s aching voice, captures the sense of confusion and despair that can be applied to so much of our world today.
I love Hurray for the Riff Raff because they don’t shy away from writing political songs (“St. Roch Blues” is specifically written in memory of individuals murdered in that New Orleans neighborhood). In many ways, “Something’s Wrong” is a country song–or what country music used to be, long ago. But country music today can’t even address anything as real as senseless gun violence. Country music today has to excuse itself, has to look the other way.
As a New Orleans band, Hurray for the Riff Raff has achieved national recognition, which seems particularly challenging for artists of any genre in New Orleans. We’re in an isolated, otherworldly bubble that can be hard to climb out of. Not only has Hurray for the Riff Raff gained notoriety, they’re also queer-identified, politically bold, and creating beautiful, culturally-rich music out of everyone’s breaking hearts.
Kristin Sanders is the author of one chapbook, Orthorexia (dancing girl press). She is a poetry editor at the New Orleans Review and an assistant poetry editor at Coconut Magazine. You can find her work at kristindianesanders.com.
Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?
Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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