Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst has spent a lot of time calling out political injustices against undocumented immigrants, and now he’s highlighting them from the perspective of a crooked cop in “MariKKKopa,” the first track from Desaparecidos in 10 years. Taking its title from Maricopa County, Arizona’s anti-immigrant sheriff Joe Arpaio — who’s smiled at comparisons to the KKK (“It’s an honor. It means we’re doing something,” he says at the end of the track) — “MariKKKopa” presents local law enforcement as savages, behaving violently towards illegal immigrants for sport. Oberst takes his attack to the instrumentals too, with assaulting guitar riffs and aggro vocals. “He [needs] to be called out at every opportunity as the criminal that he is,” Oberst told the Huffington Post, “There are many ways of doing that. The federal government’s current lawsuit against him being one. I used the best means at my disposal to do it: a punk rock song.”
“MariKKKopa” and the b-side “Backsell” are out digitally on 8/2.