Portland’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the basement-tapes brainchild of former Mint Chicks guitarist Ruban Nielson. It all started as just one lo-fi recording of a ferociously catchy song, “Ffunny Ffrends” uploaded on bandcamp. Soon after, hordes of blogs all over were posting and re-posting the track until Pitchfork eventually featured them just weeks later. And, really, they had every reason to do so. Like Sleigh Bells, Girls (who they’re on tour with and will join here at Granada), and Youth Lagoon before them, their album is just full of classics. UMO’s self-titled album has all of the qualities of music that’s been lost in a bygone era. They combine 60’s psych and groove with krautrock minimalism to get an album that sounds like summer jams played at a hippie nude beach, like helping them make Uncut’s list of Top 50 Albums of 2011
Their music-for-the-sake-of-making-it approach keeps the songs in your head all day, and The internet is really loving it, and they’ve even been getting tweet-love from El-P, ?uestlove, and Das Racist. Stereogum’s calling them the Band to Watch. And, man, that song! “Ffunny Ffrends” is the perfect blend of a buzzy and bouncy melody and a silky smooth groove that just refuses to quit. Nielson says, “the song is meant to feel like Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone and RZA jamming on some kids TV theme too dark to ever be broadcast”. Check out the video for your new favorite song below:
Right? Right?! It’s the best! They’ll be performing at The Granada Theater Friday, March 9th with Girls (presented by Gorilla vs Bear).