Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a psychedelic, indie, garage rock, R&B and lo-fi band founded in 2010 by a former member of The Mint Chicks, Ruban Nielson. The band is based in Portland, Oregon, but is originally from New Zealand. Unknown Mortal Orchestra is currently under contract with the Jagjaguwar record label, under which they have released four of their five albums.
Now known as one of the fastest rising rock bands in the country, the members of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra seem hungry for more attention, and all we have to do is sit back and enjoy the roller coaster ride they’re taking us on.
The Unknown Mortal Orchestra was founded by a New Zealand-American musician named Ruban Nielson. Nielson was also the founder of his former band The Mint Chicks, but after falling out with his former band members, he decided to form a new band. Fresh from his old rock band, Nielson formed a new rock band with Jake Portrait in 2010. They were later joined by Nielson’s younger brother and band member of The Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson.
Who Are The Unknown Mortal Orchestra?
The band works with Nielson as lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, Jake Portrait as a bassist, Kody Nielson as vocalist and drummer, and some other temporary band members such as Gregory Rogove, Chris Nielson, and Amber Baker. Julien Ehrlich joined the band as a drummer in 2010. Ehrlich left the group in 2012 to form his own group called Whitney.
First Three Album Release
On June 21, 2011, the band released their first album entitled Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The album was released under Fat Possum Records in CD, LP, cassette, and download formats. The full length of the album is 30 minutes 9 seconds. Two singles of the piece were released, the first was FunnyFriends, released on May 17th, 2010, and the second, Thoughts Balling, released on June 1st, 2010. The album has a total of nine tracks and one bonus track.
The band’s second album is entitled II and was released on February 5, 2013, under Jagjaguwar. It was released in download format, like CD, LP, and cassette. The genre of the 40 minutes and 25 seconds long album is Indie-Rock, Psychedelic-Rock, and Lo-Fi. The album was produced by Ruban Nielson and rated four out of five stars by AllMusic, 8/10 by Hot Press, four out of five by NME, three out of five stars by The Observer, and 7.3/10 by Pitch Fork. The album consists of ten tracks without a bonus track.
Multi-Love is the band’s third album. The album was released via Jagjaguwar on May 26, 2015. It was produced by Ruban Nielson, Kody Nielson, and Jake Portrait. The nine tracks of the album last 42 minutes and 15 seconds. It was recorded as Psychedelic Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, and Psychedelic Soul. Two singles were released from the album, Multi-Love and Can’t Keep Checking My Phone. The latter was used by EA Sports as one of the tracks for the accompanying video game FIFA 16.
Sex & Food is the fourth album of the band. The psychedelic, funk, rock, folk, R&B, and disco album was released on April 6, 2018, via Jagjaguwar. The album was produced by Ruban Nielson and contains 12 songs that are 40 minutes and 45 seconds long. Of the album, American Guilt, Not in Love We’re Just High and Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays were released as singles in the same year as the album.
On October 26, 2018, the band released their fifth and last album, IC-01. The seven-track album was released via Jagjaguwar and lasts 28 minutes and 10 seconds. Only one single of the album with experimental jazz and psychedelic rock was released. The title Hanoi 6 was released as a single on September 25, 2018. The album was recorded in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s EP
Since the formation of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the band has released 5 albums, one EP, and 14 singles. On October 29, 2013, the band released its only EP entitled Blue Record. It consists of five tracks, which run for fifteen minutes. The EP was rated 3 out of 5 stars by AllMusic and 5 stars by Consequence of Sound with 3½.