Unknown Mortal Orchestra: II


A fairly new band, started by former Mint Chick Ruben Nielson, the trio is completed by Jake Portrait on bass and Greg Rogove on drums. What looked at first to be a somewhat loose arrangement fast became an acclaimed low-fi indie fare, getting big ups from Pitchfork and the like for their debut self-titled album. Now their second, simply titled II, looks to be another brilliantly-received affair.

An effortless body of work, II is strangely broken. It’s sweet, sombre and simply great. It feels like one of those undiscovered indie flicks you catch by accident one sunny afternoon. So quietly perfect, you feel reluctant to share the news with anyone, keeping it all to your precocious self.

Nothing floats about unnecessarily, every sentence feels purposeful, every chord change oddly effective. The guitars sound like they’re being fed through mini Orange amps and all manner of reconstructed guitar pedals being stomped on for that ‘weirdo’ super sonic magic, more synonymous with bands like The Bees or MGMT. Parts of the record recalls early Beck, Mellow Gold era.

Lead single, Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark), offers an upbeat and infectious shimmy, whilst album-opener From The Sun is a remote island somewhere off the coast of Revolver, The Beatles.

More hazy tracks… Dawn, is well, exactly that, a dawn break in the album, followed by upbeat bliss-out number Faded in the Morning, which reinforces the psych nature of this record. Parts of which could have easily sounded like sweet pop ditties before being fed through a giant 70’s filter to sound like so.

Really gorgeous and pleasing, blues-tinged, solar powered, indie magic.

golden lady


Review by Golden Lady.