Unknown Mortal Orchestra first dropped into the world in late 2010 as a bandcamp account carrying a single called ‘Ffunny Ffrends’.
‘Ffunny Ffrends’ was everything you imagined it might be – alien beatnik pop music that echoed 60s psychedelia and krautrock minimalism with just a hint of gentle weirdness that suggested its roots might equally lie in the verdant indie of the equally distant New Zealand scene.
Ruban Nielson is a New Zealand native who had transplanted to Portland, Oregon with his band Mint Chicks. UMO was a project conceived as Ruban’s escape hatch to a new musical dimension where his vision of junkshop record collector pop could be realized in a sound that recalled Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone and RZA jamming on some kids TV theme too dark to ever be broadcast.
Out of the home studio, Ruban was joined by local Portland producer Jake Portrait on bass and teenage prodigy Julien Ehrlich on drums. They have been on the road all year, sleeping in ditches and running drunkenly from venues when needs be, curling ears and turning heads with their intoxicating sound all the way.
The eponymous UMO debut album is released June 21 on Fat Possum Records. Its probably something you should listen to.