Unknown Mortal Orchestra is an enigma. And like all enigmas, the element of mystery makes them compelling. New album II, out at the beginning of this month through Inertia, is a mesmerising excursion into psychedelic/folk/soul/funk. Yes, I totally just put those four genres together. Much like the band itself that is bemusingly derived from NZ noise rock band The Mint Chicks, II is charmingly bewildering.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra has had a few hits with singles ‘Ffunny Ffrends,’ ‘Bicycle’ and ‘Swim And Sleep Like A Shark,’ but has somehow failed to gain significant traction off the release of their previous album or subsequent touring. I can only put this down to the stupidity of the public, myself included, because this band is special. II serves to emphatically reinforce that fact.
The individual tracks off II work as standalones, but listening to the album in full is experiential and immersive. Tame Impala has got us all frothing over psychedelic music at the moment, but Unknown Mortal Orchestra has got so much more going on than some wah wah and trippy reverb. The band’s genre-defying music somehow manages to sound balanced and subtly complex. You could listen to II for a month and still not pick up on every intricacy. In other words, this band is genius.
Take a listen for yourself:
Grab Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s II now from iTunes. Overseas readers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra is about to embark on an extensive tour of the US and the UK during the first half of this year. For the rest of us in Oceania, I’m sure they’ll grace our shores soon enough. I’ve been told their live show is class. I would expect nothing less.