About Immigrant Union
Two guys meet at a bar and a band is born. It’s a story as old as beer on tap. Like all good stories, Immigrant Union’s started with a few drinks. And… maybe a few dozen more drinks. The story got a little more interesting when the duo started turning simple chords and melodies into completed songs. And then polished recordings of those songs. And empty bar rooms into epic parties. And music loving barflies into lifelong friends.
It was the summer of 2004 when Brent DeBoer of The Dandy Warhols was killing some time in Australia and had a chance meeting with Melbourne’s Bob Harrow. This initial exchange led to a spontaneous trip to the country and an all-night jam session. The friendship grew. They acquired the talented vocalist and keyboard player, Peter Lubulwa, and the band quickly planted its roots in alt-country-folk, bound by a communal love for classic rock and roll.
Countless shows later, Immigrant Union have now supported Noel Gallagher, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Dead Meadow and toured their own headline shows, creating unforgettable moments at boutique festivals and many an odd BBQ and house party across the whole of Australia. Known for having a consistent gift of delivering a good time…allllll the time… the band have naturally progressed into the next chapter of their story: realising their second album, and keeping their eyes fixed on the international touring circuit ahead.
Immigrant Union’s upcoming album is a shift from previous recordings – moving away from the country end of the sound spectrum, they approached their second record with a desire to produce a more layered, trippier sound. To achieve this elusive warmth, the band went literally to the farthest reaches of the earth: to Brent’s hometown in Portland, Oregon and to Altona on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia.
In the stark, industrial coastal town of Altona, is a hidden gem. A vintage Neve mixing console, a world-class microphone collection and an engineer (Mat Robbins) who never had a band quite like Immigrant Union step into his studio. “I wanted these particular ribbon mics,” Brent says. “It’s hard to find a collection like Mat’s at Coloursound– decent 1950′s and 60′s mics cost so much time and money to collect, when you find a guy with drawers full of them in mint condition, it gives you chills.” Brent explains that the classic mixing desk gave the band’s music a “vintage authenticity and a warm but crusty and dusty sound” – the perfect qualities for the sun-drenched ambience the band were chasing. Similarly, Timothy Stollenwork also keeps a gear-head’s heaven in his Portland home – here Brent worked with Timothy (Woods, Boogarins, Quasi) on mastering the record. The completed work, (featuring former Immigrant Union members, all of which are now Courtney Barnett and The Courtney Barnetts), had the perfect line-up to give ‘Anyway’ the treatment it deserves.
2014 was a busy year for the band with showcases at The Americana Music Festival in Nashville TN and The CMJ Music Marathon in New York City as well as a headline slot at The Sydney Psych Festival. ‘Anyway’ had it US release in September 2014 through Musebox records and was followed up by an extensive 18 date North American tour covering East and West Coasts.
2015 is already shaping up to be a busy one with appearances at The Kyenton Music Festival (AUS), Canadian Music Week and a planned global release of ‘Anyway’ in April 2015 plus more international touring.
“Immigrant Union revived the folk-rock wing of psychedelia.” Jon Pareles: The New York Times
“Immigrant Union’s song “War is Peace” was just about my favorite new song on my list of unknown CMJ bands. I put that song on All Songs Considered last Tuesday and the night before I came to NYC, I listened to their entire album. When it was over I listened to it again! It’s rare that I do that.” – Bob Boilen: NPR All Songs Considered.
“You want the cutting edge of 2014 psychedelic pop, this is it. Is this album the catchiest, most melodically attractive release of the year? Very possibly.” – Delarue: New York Music Daily.
“Immigrant Union is a band with uncompromising appeal on the brink of international recognition and admiration,” – Jef Krohn, Music Editor at PDX Magazine.