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Unknown Mortal Orchestra

unknown mortal orchestra, unknown mortal orchestra tour
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a New Zealand psychedelic rock band primarily comprising singer, guitarist, and songwriter Ruban Nielson, and bassist Jake Portrait Nielson, formerly of The Mint Chicks, started the band in 2010 The band's first album was released in 2011 on Fat Possum Records; three subsequent studio albums have been released on Jagjaguwar, the most recent being Sex & Food 2018


  • 1 History
    • 11 Formation
    • 12 Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    • 13 II
    • 14 Multi-Love
    • 15 Sex & Food
  • 2 Awards and nominations
  • 3 Discography
    • 31 Studio albums
    • 32 Extended plays
    • 33 Singles
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links



Singer and guitarist Ruban Nielson released the track "Ffunny Ffrends" on his anonymous Bandcamp profile on 17 May 2010 It was paired with no further information and notably no mention of who created it Within a day, the song had received significant coverage from independent music blogs such as Pitchfork Through their reposting and attempts to hunt down the creator, Nielson eventually claimed the track as Unknown Mortal Orchestra's

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Main article: Unknown Mortal Orchestra album

The band's debut self-titled album was released 21 June 2011 on Fat Possum Records The album quickly received critical acclaim Pitchfork gave the album an 81, describing that with "an expert use of space rare for such a lo-fi record, UMO manages a unique immersive and psychedelic quality without relying on the usual array of bong-ripping effects"

In the spring of 2012, the band won the Taite Music Prize for the album Although the nominated Unknown Mortal Orchestra did not win Best Alternative Album, Nielson took home the title of Best Male Artist at the 47th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards


Main article: II Unknown Mortal Orchestra album

In September 2012, Unknown Mortal Orchestra announced that they had signed to Jagjaguwar and were working on their second full-length album Unknown Mortal Orchestra's second album, II, was released on 5 February 2013 The first single from the album, entitled "Swim and Sleep Like a Shark", was first available as a 7" on their tour with Grizzly Bear

Ruban Nielson

II has received widespread critical acclaim In November 2013 it won Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards II was nominated for the Taite Music Prize 2014, an annual music prize awarded for the best album from New Zealand Clash Music gave the album a 9 out of 10, saying "from opener 'From The Sun', which recalls George Harrison-psychedelia, to the tender Family Stone shuffle of the closing of 'Secret Xtians', 'II' displays both a glowing warmth in its production and a deft use of space that illuminate Nielson's superbly crafted compositions" Paste magazine called the album "a modern, beat-heavy take on '60s psych, with plenty of hooks and fuzz to get you hooked and feeling fuzzy" NME praised Ruban's ability to turn his songs into "works of warm, fuzzy beauty"

During the winter of 2012, Unknown Mortal Orchestra capitalized on the success of II and embarked on a world tour The tour started off with shows in Australia, and hometown shows in New Zealand, followed by several stops in Europe The band then toured extensively throughout North America with opener Foxygen In March 2013, Unknown Mortal Orchestra was named one of Fuse TV's 30 must-see artists at SXSW Unknown Mortal Orchestra consistently sold out shows in both the UK/Europe and in North America, and as a result of their success on the road they announced in early April that they would extend their tour through the end of 2013 That summer the band performed at a number of major European festivals, including Roskilde Festival, Pukkelpop and Lowlands

On 25 February 2013, Unknown Mortal Orchestra made their American television debut, performing "So Good at Being in Trouble" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

On 29 October 2013, the band released an EP titled Blue Record It included three acoustic versions of songs taken from their previous album


Main article: Multi-Love

On 5 February 2015, the band announced their third studio album, Multi-Love Soon after, they released the title track as the first single, which was designated "Best New Track" by Pitchfork Multi-Love was released on 26 May 2015 It was well received by critics Rolling Stone commented that "Multi-Love sees Nielson coloring outside the lines for a vibrant vision of connection" and Pitchfork praised Nielson's ear for how something should sound and referred to the album as his "most accomplished" Singles "Multi-Love" and "Can't Keep Checking My Phone" were both A-listed at BBC's 6 Music

Following the release, UMO embarked on a tour through the UK, Europe, the US and Canada, with many sold out dates They are currently back touring in Europe through November, before heading to Australia and New Zealand for a string of headline shows in December On August 12, UMO performed Multi-Love on Late Night with Seth Meyers On August 25 they performed "Can't Keep Checking My Phone" on Conan On 16 February 2016 the band performed on Last Call with Carson Daly "Can't Keep Checking My Phone" also appears in the association football video game FIFA 16

Sex & Food

The band's fourth studio album, Sex & Food, was released on 6 April 2018

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2012 "Unknown Mortal Orchestra" Taite Prize, Independent Music New Zealand Won
2013 "II" Album of the Year, New Zealand Music Awards Nominated <
2013 "So Good at Being in Trouble" Single of the Year, New Zealand Music Awards Nominated
2015 Ruban Nielson and Kody Nielson for "Multi-Love" APRA Silver Scroll Won
2015 "Multi-Love" Best Alternative Album, New Zealand Music Awards Won
2015 "Multi-Love" Best Single, New Zealand Music Awards Nominated
2016 "Multi-Love" Taite Prize, Independent Music New Zealand Nominated


Studio albums

List of studio albums with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • Released: 21 June 2011
  • Label: Fat Possum
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, download
35 39
  • Released: 5 February 2013
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, download
38 120 96 122 170 2 26 48
  • Released: 26 May 2015
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, download
14 45 70 158 37 44 98 7 12
Sex & Food
  • Released: 6 April 2018
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Format: CD, LP, cassette, download
76 63 98 56 188 12 35
List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released as single and album name
Title Year Peak chart
"Ffunny Ffrends" 2010 31 Unknown Mortal Orchestra
"Thought Ballune" 49
"How Can You Luv Me" 2011
"So Good at Being in Trouble" 2013 II
"Swim and Sleep Like a Shark" 48
"From the Sun"
"Multi-Love" 2015 25 44 Multi-Love
"Can't Keep Checking My Phone" 84
"First World Problem" 2016 44 Non-album single
"Shakedown Street"
"American Guilt" 2018 34 Sex & Food
"Not in Love We're Just High"
  • ^ "Ffunny Ffrends by Unknown Mortal Orchestra" Bandcamp 17 May 2010 Archived from the original on 9 June 2010 Retrieved 19 April 2016 CS1 maint: Unfit url link
  • ^ Ryan, Catbird 18 May 2010 "Unknown Mortal Orchestra – "Ffunny Ffrends"" MBVMusicCom The Catbirdseat Retrieved 19 April 2016 
  • ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry 18 May 2010 ""Ffunny Ffrends"" Pitchfork Retrieved 19 April 2016 
  • ^ "Who Is Unknown Mortal Orchestra" The Corner Retrieved 27 February 2012
  • ^ Hyman, Dan 4 December 2012 Listen Up: Unknown Mortal Orchestra Elle Retrieved 7 December 2012
  • ^ Cohen, Ian, 22 June 2011 Unknown Mortal Orchestra Pitchfork Retrieved 7 December 2012
  • ^ "UMO Wins Tate Music Prize" stuffconz 20 April 2012 
  • ^ Young, Alex 28 November 2012 Unknown Mortal Orchestra announces 2013 tour dates Consequence of Sound Retrieved 7 December 2012
  • ^ "Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II | Reviews | Clash Magazine" Clashmusiccom 4 February 2013 Retrieved 20 May 2013 
  • ^ a b "Watch Unknown Mortal Orchestra Play Fallon" Stereogum 26 February 2013 Retrieved 20 May 2013 
  • ^ "NME Album Reviews – Unknown Mortal Orchestra – 'II'" NME 31 January 2013 Retrieved 20 May 2013 
  • ^ "Unknown Mortal Orchestra Plot Tour" Pitchforkcom Retrieved 20 May 2013 
  • ^ "30 Must-See Acts at SXSW 2013 - Photos - South by Southwest - Festivals - Fuse" Fusetv 28 February 2013 Retrieved 7 March 2013 
  • ^ "ALBUM ANNOUNCE // Unknown Mortal Orchestra Announces Acoustic 'Blue Record' EP, Out 10/29 Blog :: JAGJAUWAR" Jagjaguwar Retrieved 22 October 2013 
  • ^ ""Multi-Love" by Unknown Mortal Orchestra Review - Pitchfork" 
  • ^ Suzy Exposito 24 July 2015 "Unknown Mortal Orchestra Multi-Love Album Review" Rolling Stone 
  • ^ "Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love Album Review – Pitchfork" 
  • ^ "Unknown Mortal Orchestra" BBC 
  • ^ "Watch Unknown Mortal Orchestra Bring 'Multi-Love' to 'Late Night' - Rolling Stone" Rolling Stone 
  • ^ "FIFA 16 Soundtrack" 
  • ^ "Unknown Mortal Orchestra Wins Taite Music Prize - Amplifier NZ Music" 
  • ^ a b "Unknown Mortal Orchestra Wins Taite Music Prize - Amplifier NZ Music" 
  • ^ "'Nielson Brothers Awarded 2015 APRA Silver Scroll'" Under the Radar Retrieved 21 September 2015 
  • ^ a b "Broods clean up at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards" The New Zealand Herald 
  • ^ "Best Kiwi albums of 2015 announced" The New Zealand Herald 
  • ^ "chartsorgnz – Unknown Mortal Orchestra albums" chartsorgnz Retrieved 16 May 2014 
  • ^ Peaks in Australia:
    • Multi-Love: "Discography Unknown Mortal Orchestra" australian-chartscom Retrieved 14 April 2018 
    • Sex & Food: "ARIA Chart Watch #468" auspOp 14 April 2018 Retrieved 14 April 2018 
  • ^ a b "ultratopbe – Unknown Mortal Orchestra albums" Ultratopbe Retrieved 16 May 2014 
  • ^ "ultratopbe – Unknown Mortal Orchestra albums" Ultratopbe Retrieved 7 June 2015 
  • ^ "Discografie Unknown Mortal Orchestra" dutchchartsnl Hung Medien Retrieved 16 May 2014 
  • ^ "Chart Log UK 2013 - Zobbel" zobbelde Retrieved 20 May 2014 
  • ^ a b c d "Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Chart History" Billboard Retrieved 13 April 2018 
  • ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart" Recorded Music NZ 16 April 2018 Retrieved 13 April 2018 
  • ^ "Mexico Ingles Airplay" Billboardbiz 
  • ^ Fu, Eddie 28 February 2018 "UMO share new song "Not in Love We're Just High": Stream" Consequence of Sound Retrieved 2 March 2018 
  • External links

    • Official website

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