Unknown Mortal Orchestra first dropped into the world in late 2010 as a bandcamp account carrying a single, sweet little dose of ear candy 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.
'Ffunny Ffrends' was immediately feted on hundreds of blogs worldwide. By the time a self-titled UMO 7" EP was then released from behind a veil of secrecy on the UK label, Sounds of Sweet Nothing, 'who is Unknown Mortal Orchestra?' was more than just a question on people's lips, it was a full scale clamor for the unveiling of one of the most exciting new bands of the moment.
Ruban Nielson is a New Zealand native who had transplanted to Portland 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 Ehrich 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 was released on June 21st. It's probably something you should listen to.