The new project of The Mint Chicks' Ruban Nielson – now based in Portland, Oregon.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra first appeared around a year ago, more a song than a set, more an idea than an identity. They dazzled all who heard them with sound drawing on the freedom of '60s psychedelia and swampy '70s funk, with multi-tracked, heavily treated vocals recalling the raw emotion of R&B from any era.
The songs filtered around via email then blogs, but there were no images, no bios, no lists of band members with prior projects prominent. There wasn't even a live show - which just served to focus attention on the music. And while New Zealanders who heard it instantly suspected a Mint Chicks connection, overseas the slate remained blank: "Information essentially doesn't exist, aside from it being a solo project hailing from Portland," said I Guess I'm Floating, summing up the absence.
In time it became more solid, and conventional in a sense. A 7" was released on a UK label named The Sounds of Sweet Nothing, which sold out in a heartbeat. Tour dates were announced, and while the crowds were small, all who bore witness lapped up the now-three piece's sound.
Nielson, along with teen wunderkind Julian on Drums and production savant Jake on bass, release Unknown Mortal Orchestra's self-titled debut to the world, via Fat Possum, in the US and Seeing Records in New Zealand.
Ruban Nielson (guitar, vocals)
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