Romeo and Juliet in 2016
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II (Jagjaguwar)
Ruben Nielson, a sheepish Kiwi now living in Portland, Oregon, spent most of the 2000s making punk music with his brother in the band Mint Chicks. In 2010 he posted a solo track on Bandcamp on a whim. The track was ‘Ffunny Friends’, a nifty little psych-pop ditty with an indelible hook that ffunilly enough was embraced by the world at large, inspiring Nielson to start lo-fi psych project Unknown Mortal Orchestra. His subsequent self-produced, self-titled 2011 debut was beloved by the blogosphere and beyond. Now a trio dropping a highly anticipated follow-up, UMO is hardly an orchestra and hardly unknown. II is, however, mortal in the best of ways: vocally vulnerable, humble in composition and production, wonderfully warm, and welcoming.
by Carly Blair