Australian-American outfit Immigrant Union drop new album JUDAS featuring 2020 singles ‘Ahmed’ and ‘Soldier Field’
Fronted by Brent DeBoer of The Dandy Warhols (US) and boasting Aussie indie rock queen and Grammy nominee Courtney Barnett and her bandmates as former members, Immigrant Union are a local band with international rock royalty heritage. With their unique Australian-American psychedelic/folk/country sound, Immigrant Union have supported Noel Gallagher and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and toured their own headline shows, creating unforgettable moments at boutique festivals, occasional BBQs and the odd house party across Australia.
Their third album JUDAS features relative newcomers Ben Street (bass) and Paddy McGrath-Lester (drums) who join founding members Brent DeBoer, Bob Harrow and Peter Lubulwa for the first time following the Barnett-trio’s departure of ‘13. Recorded in Melbourne and mixed in Portland, Oregon, JUDAS combines Immigrant Union’s signature Americana elements with brilliant rad rock to present their most explorative sound yet.
The album was attacked from a completely different angle than Immigrant Union’s first two records, allowing the band to have virtually no time constraints whatsoever when recording. Naturally, this meant that they were able to employ a bunch of different techniques and tactics using weird instruments generally consisting of toys belonging to Brent’s two kids. An Elmo toy that screws with a person’s voice, for instance, is used on a few tracks as well as several toy percussive instruments peppered throughout.
Sonically, the band kinda wanted the album to sound like Len’s “Steal my Sunshine.” Once the album had been tracked, Bob and Brent travelled to Portland and had Brandon Eggleston mix it at the Odditorium. The result consists of stand out moments like first lifted single ‘New Win’, a stream of consciousness song mining thoughts for past experiences with love and loss, and 2019 follow up ‘Jewels In The Sky’ which reflects on the novel joy of doing absolutely nothing with someone you love.
2020 saw the release of the melancholic mantra that is ‘Soldier Field’, a song blending layers of guitar, a tinkling of chimes and a bubbling drone to create a soft psychedelic undercurrent for DeBoer’s tender lyricism to nestle upon as he recalls a time of great loss and the relief of coming out the other side in one piece. Final focus track ‘Ahmed‘ navigates the dense thought process of westerners who treat foreigners like shit. The band are also stoked to have collaborated with Italian artist, Galo, who created the JUDAS cover art.
As well the release of their first LP in five years, 2020 will also see Immigrant Union release a short film, ‘The Battle of Bella’, shot in Joshua Tree, CA. The film stars bandmates Bob and Brent as well as music from JUDAS as the soundtrack and was written and directed by acclaimed indie filmmaker, Mike Bruce. Stay tuned and keep an ear to the ground for its upcoming release. In the meantime wrap your ears around the woozy psychedelic sounds of JUDAS, and smoke ’em if you got ’em.
JUDAS LP is out now
Limited edition coloured vinyl now available through Cheersquad Records & Tapes