UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA

While legions of artists show fidelity to psychedelia's roots, Unknown Mortal Orchestra has always shared the rare quality that makes the genre's legends vital, a constant need for exploration. Last year, frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson descended into his home studio in a Portland basement to chart out where's he traveled since his last set of unhinged psych-soul ballads. He discovered that the best way for him to move forward would be to look back. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together. Nielson wrote the surrealistic II during an isolated period on the road, a walkabout throughout disillusionment and darkness when he pushed away. The more upbeat Multi-Love charts a different type of catharsis and reflects on relationships. "The writing on this album was more abstract, riddles that slightly disrupt the flow," he says. "A good lyric was something that didn't quite sit right. I don't want to be sad or nostalgic about these relationships. I want to be more celebratory. It's a feeling and desire that just came from time, being further away from it all. It was never going to be simple. I'm a bit wild, and was never going to just be normal." The threads of our past never unravel, they hover like invisible webs, occasionally glistening due to a sly angle of the sun. On Multi-Love, Nielson walks right into this intoxicating and inviting cloud, enveloped by the haze of memory and the fog of the past: longing, loss, wanting to be tied up but not tied down. The title track plots out the geometry of desire when three people align. Lyrics such as "actor, but never for stage and screen" reference past affairs that can never be understood. The languid "The World is Crowded" speaks to an addictive obsession. "Can't Keep Checking My Phone," with an opening serenade of intertwined trumpet and guitar, struts and sings, neon synths and bouncing bass telling of an airy, humid feeling pressing against your temples. Nielson isn't animated by pain but the mysteries that unravel from the spark of attraction. Beyond exploring universal feelings of attachment, Nielson also reconstructed his music-making process, expanding his horizons and abilities. The guitar virtuoso engrossed himself in synthesizers and production techniques, rediscovering a sense of craft and creation. Synapses fired as new musical connections were mapped out. In a basement space with cords snaking across the floor, connecting banks of keyboards and reams of new ideas, he literally rewired instruments and learned the joy of creating something out of nothing. His vocals reach new heights, especially on the soaring title track. The new psychedelic canvas moves past citing references to creating his own narrative. "It felt good to be rebelling against the typical view of what an artist is today, a curator," he says. "Our society wants to curate and consume. I wanted to be the guy behind the scenes, to demonstrate multiple skills and make it transparent. Not creating this overblown idea of a rock star or anything like that. It's more about being someone who makes things happen in concrete ways. Building old synthesizers and bringing them back to life, creating sounds that aren't quite like anyone else's. I think that's much more subversive." It's psychedelia that doesn't ignore the last 40 years of music, pushing boundaries and making a quiet argument against the idea that every frontier has been explored. Multi-Love offers a flowing, cohesive view of Nielson's expanded vision. Jagged, sculpted beats and cosmic synthesizers (especially on the weightless outro of "Stage or Screen") add dimension to a genre supposedly known for its expansive creativity. During the making of his last album, Nielson jokingly recorded a song called "Two Generations of Excess" with an eight-minute guitar solo, which was never included. The sheer sonic variety on Multi-Love suggests he's still feeling creative and restless. "I didn't want to subscribe to the idea that synths are futuristic and guitars are old-fashioned," he says. "It's not about being a purist." In many ways, the album is Nielson's reckoning with and reinterpretation of the promise of the '60s. Have the ideals from that period of searching optimism, and the corresponding progress towards more fulfilling relationships and a more just society, truly been been met, or as Nielson believes, are we all still searching? Viewed through the prism of today's progress (or lack thereof), Multi-Love speaks to a more complicated and tricky view of love, enlightenment and racial harmony. "Puzzles" literally begins with what sounds like windows shattering and someone sweeping up the pieces of broken glass, an indictment of recent racial tension in Ferguson and elsewhere that show a country off course. "I was listening a lot to Stand by Sly and the Family Stone, obsessing over the lyrics of this multi-racial band and all these different people coming together to make music" says Nielson. "I thought we were getting better. We've had these better ideas of ourselves for decades, but how much have things really changed?" This was also a family affair. His brother, a drummer and former bandmate in Flying Nun punk band The Mint Chicks, as well as his father, a trumpet player who had set a hedonistic example during his childhood, make guest appearances. The song "Necessary Evil" (Transform into the animal you need to / Fly from a destiny infested with chemicals) references Nielson's shared affinity for a hard-partying lifestyle with his father. Revisiting old relationships and loves, reconnecting with family, reinventing your artistic process: what might seem like a series of painful processes liberated Nielson. It's tricky raw material to fashion into something more buoyant and illuminating. He just hopes the searching and reevaluating help others take stock of their own connections and achieve catharsis. "I'm glad I had this opportunity, and if I made someone's life easier with the album, that's the closest reason that exists for making art that I've been able to find," he says.

WATCH / Unknown Mortal Orchestra Shares “Multi-Love” Video And Downloadable Videogame, New Album Out 5/26



Check out Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s new video for “Multi-Love” directed by Lionel Williams. Watch the video on YouTube, Vevo, or Daily Motion and then download the video game version for Mac / PC / Unity Pro Source File.

From the director: “It is meant to represent the vacuum of space by impressing upon inter-dimensional unfolding, immaterial objects, and time-driven reverberation of events. The virtual space allows for most 3D objects to trail in time – based on the directions one moves. You can construct & paint the objects in space to stretch them in any direction, to create infinitely vast compositional spaces.”

Pre-order Multi-Love via SCD/direct, Amazon, iTunes, your local record store.

TOUR DATES:
[all tix + tour dates: jagjaguwar.com/tour]

Thu. May 07 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
Sat. May 09 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Sun. May 10 – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
Wed. May 20 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. May 21 – London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
Fri. May 22 – Coventry, UK @ Warwick University w/ Django Django
Sat. May 23 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
Mon. May 25 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
Tue. May 26 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain Kantine
Wed. May 27 – Brussels, BE @ AB Club
Thu. May 28 – Paris, FR @ La Flèche d’Or
Fri. May 29 – Sun. May 31 – Nîmes, FR @ This is Not a Love Song Festival
Sat. May 30 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
Tue. June 2 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Wed. June 3 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount
Thu. June 4 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Fri. June 5 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
Sat. June 6 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Mon. June 8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Tue. June 9 – Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Wed. June 10 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
Thu. June 11 – Sun. June 14 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
Sat. June 13 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Sun. June 14 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Mon. June 15 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Tue. June 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Wed. June 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Fri. June 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw

ALBUM ANNOUNCE // Unknown Mortal Orchestra Announce New Album ‘Multi-Love’ Out May 26th, Listen To The Title Track Now




The threads of our past never unravel, they hover like invisible webs, occasionally glistening due to a sly angle of the sun. On Multi-Love, Unknown Mortal Orchestra frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson reflects on relationships: airy, humid longing, loss, the geometry of desire that occurs when three people align. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together.UMO’s new album is out May 26th on Jagjaguwar. Listen to title track “Multi-Love” above or on our SoundCloud page and YouTube..

Pre-order Multi-Love via SCD/direct, Amazon, iTunes, your local record store.

Multi-Love adds dimensions to the band’s already kaleidoscopic approach, with Nielson exploring a newfound appreciation for synthesizers. The new songs channel the spirit of psych innovators without ignoring the last 40 years of music, forming a flowing, cohesive whole that reflects restless creativity. Cosmic escapes and disco rhythms speak to developing new vocabulary, while Nielson’s vocals reach powerful new heights.


“It felt good to be rebelling against the typical view of what an artists is today, a curator,” says Ruban. “It’s more about being someone who makes things happen in concrete ways. Building old synthesizers and bringing them back to life, creating sounds that aren’t quite like anyone else’s. I think that’s much more subversive.”

While legions of artists show fidelity to the roots of psychedelia, Unknown Mortal Orchestra shares the rare quality that makes the genre’s touchstones so vital: constant exploration.

Additionally, US and UK tour dates have been announced, and will go on pre-sale on Friday. Full dates + track listing after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

ON TOUR // UMO Announces Summer Tour Dates, Play Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, Pickathon, And More

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has a must-see live show which had Consequence of Sound describe it as “an outpouring of raw, hot psych-rock,” wherin “Unknown Mortal Orchestra transformed into what they had resembled on the surface all along: a balls-out punk band.”

See the band this summer all over including the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, Pickathon, End of the Road, and Electric Picnic.Get a sense of their live show by watching the playlist of sessions above or here on our YouTube page. All upcoming dates listed below.


TOUR DATES:
[see all dates/tix here: jagjaguwar.com/tour]

5/15 | Seattle, WA, USA @ University of Washington (FREE)
5/06 | Los Angeles, CA, USA @ First Fridays at the Natural History Museum
6/12 | Lisbon, Portugal @ Optimus Alive
6/27 | Denver, CO, USA @ Underground Music Showcase
8/1-8/3 | Happy Valley, OR, USA @ Pickathon Music Festival
8/16 | Mexico City, Mexico @ Ceremonia Festival
8/23-8/24 | Monterey, CA, USA @ First City Festival
8/29 | La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland @ Nox Orae #5 -
8/30 | Wiltshire, United Kingdom @ End of the Road Festival
8/31 | Stradbally, Ireland @ Electric Picnic
9/02 | Milano, Italy @ Circolo Magnolia
9/03 | Marina di Ravenna, Italy @ Hana-Bi Free Show (FREE)
9/05 | Gdansk, Poland @ Soundrive
9/07 | Vlieland, Netherlands @ Into The Great Wide Open
10/5-10/9 | Reykjavik, Iceland @ Iceland Airwaves

ALBUM RELEASE // Unknown Mortal Orchestra Perform ‘Blue Record’ Acoustic EP Out Today, On Tour Starting In November

Today we are proud to release of UMO’s Blue Record, an acoustic EP expanding on II which includes a cover of Dirty Projectors‘ “Swing Lo Magellan” which you can listen to ABOVE or HERE on YouTube.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s new EP ‘Blue Record’ is out now through SC Distribution and iTunes. Also as a preview for the album, our friends at KCRW are currently streaming the whole album here.

Read more to see album art, track list, and all the dates of their upcoming UK / European tour!
Read the rest of this entry »

Multi-Love by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

From The Sun by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark) by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

So Good At Being In Trouble by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Multi-Love by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark) by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

05/07/15
Eugene, OR - WOW Hall  w/ Nurses

05/09/15
Seattle, WA - Barboza  w/ Nurses

05/10/15
Spokane, WA - The Bartlettt  w/ Nurses

05/20/15
Bristol, UK - Thekla

05/21/15
London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall

05/22/15
Coventry, UK - Warwick University  w/ Django Django

05/23/15
Liverpool, UK - Liverpool Sound Society  w/ Django Django

See all upcoming shows

© 2015 Jagjaguwar. All rights reserved.