Unknown Mortal Orchestra
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
"Grizzly Bear began as a home recording project for Boston-bred experimentalist Edward Droste, the son of an elementary school teacher, who laid the groundwork for the band's otherworldly debut album on a small hand-held tape recorder while holed up for 15 months in his Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment. His homespun D.I.Y. effort took on new life with the help of multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bear, a Chicago native who had worked in a diverse range of musical projects ranging from laptop electronica to free jazz, who added additional instrumentation and vocals to Droste's stripped-down sonic blueprints.
The resulting album, Horn of Plenty -- a pet project originally meant only for Droste's friends -- eventually circulated through New York's underground music scene, with its unique blend of acoustic instruments, layered vocals, and found sounds earning comparisons to alt-rock heavy-hitters such as Sigur Rós, Sufjan Stevens, and Animal Collective. Originally released to little fanfare in 2004, the album gained momentum thanks to copious touring, with Chris Taylor joining the band on reeds and electronics, and Daniel Rossen providing additional guitar and vocals. It was reissued in 2005 as a two-CD set featuring remixes by Dntel (of the Postal Service), Final Fantasy, Solex, and the Soft Pink Truth (aka Drew Daniel of Matmos). An album of Droste's early demo recordings, Sorry for the Delay, was released in 2006 as the band finished up recording Yellow House, their second proper full-length album. Warp signed the band that spring and released Yellow House that fall. A year later, the Friend EP, which featured cameos from Beirut, CSS, and Band of Horses arrived. For 2009's elaborate Veckatimest, the band collaborated with contemporary classical composer/conductor Nico Muhly, Beach House vocalist Victoria LeGrand, the Acme String Quartet and the Brooklyn Youth Choir." - Bret Love, AllMusicGuide
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unknown Mortal Orchestra first dropped into the world in late 2010 as a bandcamp account carrying a single called 'Ffunny Ffrends'.
'Ffunny Ffrends' was everything you imagined it might be – alien beatnik pop music that echoed 60s psychedelia and krautrock minimalism with just a hint of gentle weirdness that suggested its roots might equally lie in the verdant indie of the equally distant New Zealand scene.
Ruban Nielson is a New Zealand native who had transplanted to Portland, Oregon with his band Mint Chicks. UMO was a project conceived as Ruban's escape hatch to a new musical dimension where his vision of junkshop record collector pop could be realized in a sound that recalled Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone and RZA jamming on some kids TV theme too dark to ever be broadcast.
Out of the home studio, Ruban was joined by local Portland producer Jake Portrait on bass and teenage prodigy Julien Ehrlich on drums. They have been on the road all year, sleeping in ditches and running drunkenly from venues when needs be, curling ears and turning heads with their intoxicating sound all the way.
The eponymous UMO debut album is released June 21st on Fat Possum. Its probably something you should listen to.
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