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Immigrant Union Go On Tour In Support Of New Album, Anyway, To Be Released This Month

Australia’s Immigrant Union will embark on a cross-country tour of the United States this fall in support of their second full-length, Anyway, to be released on 23 September. With a psychedelic folk sound that frontman Brent DeBoer describes as: “…spiritualised being baptised in a river of Creedence Clearwater,” Immigrant Union will play several major American cities in October and November, highlighted by an appearance at The Americana Music Festival this week on 18 September.

In anticipation of the tour, the band is offering their new single, The End Has Come, as a free download which has also premiered exclusively on Hellhound Music. The End Has Come features Courtney Barnett, the singer/songwriter who Rolling Stone called a “…hybrid of Kimya Dawson and Kurt Cobain” and will be available to those who join Immigrant Union’s mailing list via the band’s official website.

According to the music blog The Sound of Confusion, Immigrant Union feature “…lighthearted and occasionally witty lyrics and you can tell that all involved are experienced musicians.” Dubbed “…something of a supergroup,” Immigrant Union consist of DeBoer from The Dandy Warhols, Bob Harrow from The Lazy Sons and four other well-known players on the Melbourne scene. The band recorded their self-titled full-length debut album with producer Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper).

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 session. The friendship grew.

DeBoer and Harrow soon recruited the talented vocalist and keyboardist, Peter Lubulwa, and the band quickly planted its roots in alt-country-folk, bound by a communal love for classic rock and roll. Part psychedelic folk, part traditional country rock, Immigrant Union have since built their name through stellar live performances at some of the Australia’s most iconic venues and boutique festivals.

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Immigrant Union Release New Video For Single, Alison

The MuseBox recently announced the premiere of Alison, the second single and video from Immigrant Union’s second full-length, Anyway. Alison, which was directed by Devin De Araujo and features actress Tain Stangret, is singer Bob Harrow’s bitter recounting of the end of a relationship. With a psychedelic folk sound that front man Brent DeBoer describes as “Spiritualised being baptised in a river of Creedence Clearwater,” Melbourne, Australia’s Immigrant Union hit the spotlight in 2011. The band recorded their self-titled full-length debut album with producer Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper). All of Immigrant Union’s music is available on iTunesPopmatters exclusively premiered the video for Alison.

Despite the personal nature of the video, Harrow is beyond pleased with the finished product. In typical Harrow fashion, he explains why Alison was such a positive experience: “I was pretty happy with how the video came out. I’ve never got to direct anything before, so that was rad. Devin made it look really beautiful. I think Tain Stangret did a killer job in the role of Alison. She nailed the whole ‘I’m over Bob and this relationship’ vibe. Tain is very good at her craft.”

Alison was filmed in half a day at Melbourne’s iconic The Tote during an event called The Psychedelic Rock n’ Roll Surf Party Caftan Hoedown. The live footage seen in Alison is also noteworthy because it was filmed during one of the last gigs Immigrant Union played with singer and guitarist Courtney Barnett.

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Introducing…Nikki W.

The MuseBox recently announced the release of Transparent Hands, the first single from Nikki W., the 16 year-old singer/songwriter from London, Ontario. Her full length EP entitled Sad Generation will be released on July 29. Nikki’s style is a vibrant mix of guitars, piano and haunting synths, all layered over a restless and hard-hitting rhythm section held together by Nikki’s enchanting voice. Already compared to Lana Del Ray and Metric, Nikki projects an emotional honesty and wisdom beyond her years. According to Sam Tweedle of The Pop Culture Addict: “Nikki’s voice and writing skills are astonishing for a girl her age.” Nikki’s forthcoming release was produced by Gavin Brown and will be available on Nikki’s official website.

Like every preceding generation, Nikki’s is filled with distinct loneliness and fear. According to Nikki, she is ready, willing and able to speak on behalf of “gypsies, wallflowers and those without a voice.” Her powerful yet vulnerable voice touches on love, doubt, sex, self-harm and alienation – all themes common to Nikki and her peers. Nikki describes her music as “pop music with cuts, tattoos and honesty.”

With straightforward yet poignant lyrics like, “Don’t know who to trust and who to doubt” and “Someone like you is much too wonderful, lovely for someone as sad as me,” Nikki has already garnered attention for her songwriting prowess. The songs took shape as she co-wrote her EP with producer Brown.

Although working with someone with Brown’s credentials was at first intimidating, Nikki credits him with allowing her to grow through the songwriting and recording process. “I’ve been in and out of studios since I was 12. It’s kind of like a second home to me. I love going in and writing songs there, or just recording a track.”

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Kate Tucker And The Sons Of Sweden Announce Tour Dates

Nashville’s Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden will embark on a summer tour following the nationally recognised Kickstarter campaign that helped fund their full-length, The Shape The Color The Feel. With a sound compared to Metric, The National and early U2, KT+ SOS will kick off their tour at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge on July 23 and then make their way throughout the Midwest, West Coast and Southeast. Tickets for the tour, as well as downloadable versions and vinyl copies of The Shape The Color The Feel, are available on KT+ SOS’s official site.

In 2013, KT+ SOS began what The Vinyl District called “…an incredibly ambitious collaborative film and music venture” in which the band used Kickstarter to help fund The Shape The Color The Feel, a visual album featuring videos for each of the tracks on the record. The story of their unique project was highlighted in Huffngton Post: “Another group of enormously talented Nashville artists are using Kickstarter to fund a photo and video series, live performances, art gallery exhibits and dance.” The entire project consists of ten music videos, three short films, a documentary and a visual art exhibit that launched in Nashville and will continue across the country.

Tucker, known as a restless spirit who has lived in Paris, Seattle, New York City and Nashville within the past decade, explained in a recent interview with Esquire why she is excited about the band’s upcoming opportunity to meet fans from across the country: “The Shape The Color The Feel would not exist without the community of artists and friends that supported and contributed to the project. We are so grateful to have worked with such incredible people in Nashville and beyond.”

KT+ SOS unveiled Blue Hotel, the second single from The Shape The Color The Feel, on the limited edition Nashville Indie Spotlight compilation, out exclusively on iTunes. The song was handpicked for the release and accompanies exclusive tracks by other local favourites, including Leagues, Matthew Perryman Jones and Katie Herzig. As a result, Blue Hotel is now in heavy rotation on Nashville’s Lightning 100 and The Shape The Color The Feel has charted on CMJ radio.

You can catch Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden live on the following dates:
July 23 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
July 24 Louisville, KY – New Vintage
July 25 St Louis, MO – Koken Art Factory
July 26 Terra Haute, IN – The Verve
July 27 Chicago, IL – Elbo Room
July 28 Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar
July 29 Lincoln, NE – Vega
July 30 Denver, CO – Herman’s Hideaway
July 31 Salt Lake, UT – Metro Bar
Aug. 1 Boise, ID – Neurolux
Aug. 2 Spokane, WA – The Bartlett
Aug. 4 Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
Aug. 5 Portland, OR – Secret Society
Aug. 6 Eugene, OR – Cozmic
Aug. 7 San Francisco, CA – Neck of the Woods
Aug. 8 Los Angeles, CA – Three Clubs
Aug. 9 Phoenix, AZ –Cactus Jacks
Aug. 10 Sedona, AZ – Oak Creek Brewing
Aug. 11 Albuquerque, NM – Ned’s Bar
Aug. 13 Oklahoma City, OK – Conservatory
Aug. 14 Ft. Worth, TX – Lola’s
Aug. 15 Austin, TX – Swan Dive
Aug. 16 Houston, TX – Jet Lounge
Aug. 19 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
Aug. 20 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
Aug. 21 Atlanta, GA – The Music Room
Aug. 22 Charlotte, NC – The Evening Muse
Aug. 23 Asheville, NC – TBA

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Ajax Ray O’Vaque Releases New Single, Best Days Of Our Lives

Ajax Ray O’Vaque, the alter ego of Anthony J. Resta, recently announced the release of his new single, Best Days of Our Lives. Resta is considered one of the most prolific American producers of the past two decades, having worked with industry giants such as Elton John, Duran Duran and Collective Soul. Known for his use of vintage gear and soundscaping recording techniques, Resta has woven together pieces of obscure samples from vinyl with twisted analogue synth sounds, melding them seamlessly into his artist’s performance. Resta’s musical prowess has earned him twelve RIAA certified gold and platinum awards. Best Days of Our Lives is the first release from Dreaming in Subtitles, the record slated for a July 1 launch.

Resta is something of a musical renaissance man: he has served as a singer, songwriter, composer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist, soundscape artist and holistic music creator. The Canadian-born artist began his celebrated livelihood as a session drummer, moving into programming in the late ‘80s through expertise with the Linn Drum. A chance encounter with Duran Duran led to one of the enduring associations of his career. Lippman Entertainment in Los Angeles signed Resta the same year he built the 3,700 square foot Bopnique, an award-winning studio in New England. Resta and his Grammy nominated engineer, Karyadi Sutedja, expanded Bopnique in 2013 to two new locations in the Los Angeles area.

It was at Boston’s Berklee College of Music that Resta discovered his talent for electronic gears and gadgets, helping him define his signature sound heard on Collective Soul’s Dosage, Duran Duran’s Medazzaland and Denise Hradecky’s Save the Universe. Along with his producing and mixing work, Resta is also a successful composer. Some of Resta’s most notable soundtrack work can be heard in films The Saint and Twilight.

Resta has no particular favourite style of music: “I used to be into electronica but I really like recording real instruments. I like mixing the most real sounds with one or two completely unreal sounds then making them sound like they belong together.” Best Days of Our Lives is the latest example of Resta’s ability to juxtapose purely organic and wildly synthetic instruments. The song is the first release from Dreaming in Subtitles, Resta’s second album under the name Ajax Ray O’Vaque. Robert Robles, GM of Sterling Sound, calls Dreaming in Subtitles “…an amazing creative experience that is long overdue.” Both Dreaming in Subtitles and O’Vaque’s debut, The Critically Forgotten Demos of Saturn (released by Intelligent Records in 2009), are available on Amazon.

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Introducing…Immigrant Union

Immigrant Union have recently announced the first single and video from their second full-length, Anyway. The video for the new single, I Can’t Return, was directed by Mike Bruce (Noel Gallagher, Black Mountain, Paul McCartney) and stars Omar Doom (Inglorious Bastards) and Carolyn Stotesbery (Love and Mercy).

Featuring a psychedelic folk sound that front man Brent DeBoer describes as: “Spiritualised being baptised in a warm bath of Creedence Clearwater,” Melbourne’s Immigrant Union hit the national spotlight in 2011 with their acclaimed rendition of Rose Tattoo’s, Bad Boy For Love, on Adam Hills Tonight on ABC TV. The performance occurred just before the band travelled to Portland, Oregon to record their self-titled full-length debut album with producer Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper).

Forged through a chance drunken meeting between DeBoer and Harrow, their shared love of music led to a trip to the country and an all night jam, solidifying a friendship that would form the basis of Immigrant Union. Immigrant Union have already put out a self-titled debut album and will follow it with Anyway later in 2014. Part psychedelic folk, part traditional country rock, Immigrant Union have been building their name through stellar live performances at some of the country’s most iconic venues and boutique festivals.

Director Mike Bruce was eager to work on the video for I Can’t Return. According to Bruce, when DeBoer approached him to make the video, he jumped at the opportunity: “I’m always excited to work with such talented people as Mr. DeBoer. When I heard I Can’t Return, I knew I had to deliver a video worthy of the song.” He and DeBoer thought of several scenarios that represent points of no return but eventually settled on the dark premise seen in I Can’t Return. The video tells the tale of a man who discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him when he accidentally finds incriminating pictures on her phone. His response is to take her on a small plane, fly her to a proper cruising altitude and then jump out of the plane – a suicidal leap that leaves his girlfriend at the helm, powerless and paralysed by fear. Bruce explains the thinking behind the final scene: “It’s really just a morbid fantasy we sometimes have when we’re in a bad situation that there seems to be no escape from. This guy decides, fuck it – if I jump out of this plane, there’s no way I can go back.”

According to Bruce, picking Omar Doom for the role of the emotional ninja was a no-brainer: “Like DeBoer, Omar is a friend and just one of those guys that has this effortless “cool” about him. He also did everything I asked of him which was a lot and I have a lot of respect for actors who are willing to do whatever it takes to get what is needed. I literally put him through the ropes and he never complained.” Doom explains why he was eager to star in the I Can’t Return video: “After years of being a devoted fan of The Dandy Warhols, I was thrilled when I was approached to act in a music video for Brent DeBoer’s side project, Immigrant Union.”

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