Album Review – Unknown Mortal Orchestra


Unknown Mortal Orchestra -‘Unknown Mortal Orchestra.’ (True Panther Sounds/Matador)

For something that that seems to have begun as a side project, it would appear that the debut album from Unknown MOrtal Orchestra has taken on a life of its’ own.

New Zealand born, Portland based Ruban Nielson, had a vision of ‘junkshop record collector pop’. This has culminated in an album which feels like it has the Beatles’ ear for melody, shot through with a love for hypnogogic pop, hip-hop and krautrock. And quite frankly, it’s amazing.

OPening with ‘Ffunny Ffriends’ in the course of just nine songs and thirty minutes, this is an album which manages to put together an ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach into something coherent, listenable and loveable. If I’m not too sure about ‘Jello and the Juggernauts’ I’m pretty stooked about the rest of the album.

I have no idea if Mr. Neilson knew what he was doing – or if the project just simply took on a life of its’ own. Either way, it’s a damn good album.


Unknown Mortal Orchestra is out now on True Panther Sounds/Matador.

Stream the album at Spin

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Ffunny Ffrends’ from Bowlegs on Vimeo. Presents: UMO “How Can You Luv Me” from Yours Truly on Vimeo.