Today, Unknown Mortal Orchestra returned with a new song ‘American Guilt’ and a lot of US and EU tour dates from April onwards this year.

There’s not much context for the new track but it’s a departure from Multi-Love for sure, revelling in a more scuzzy lo-fi rock buzz.

I’d expect an Irish show and an album announcement too (IE dates are never in these lists for some promoter reasons).

The song has been added to the Nialler9 New Music Spotify playlist.

Tour dates

April 22 – Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street w/ Makeness
April 23 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall w/ Makeness
April 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel w/ Makeness
April 26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel w/ Makeness
April 27 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/ Makeness
April 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer w/ Makeness
April 30 – Boston, MA @ Royale w/ Makeness
May 1 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre w/ Makeness
May 2 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall w/ Makeness
May 3 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre w/ Makeness
May 4 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue w/ Makeness
May 7 – Seattle, WA @ The Moore Theatre w/ Makeness
May 8 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom w/ Makeness
May 9 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater w/ Makeness
May 10 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater w/ Makeness
May 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern w/ Makeness
May 12 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s w/ Makeness
May 18 – Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefährlich w/ Makeness
May 19 – Berlin, Germany @ Kesselhaus w/ Makeness
May 20 – Heidelberg, Germany @ Karlstorbahnhof w/ Makeness
May 21 – Düsseldorf, Germany @ zakk w/ Makeness
May 22 – Paris, France @ La Gaîté Lyrique w/ Makeness
May 24 – London, United Kingdom @ Roundhouse w/ Makeness
May 25 – Bristol, United Kingdom @ SWX w/Makeness
May 26 – Manchester,United Kingdom @ Strange Waves
May 27 – Leeds,United Kingdom @ World Island
May 28 – Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique w/ Makeness
June 10 – Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands @ Best Kept Secret Festival
July 6 – Richmond, VA @ The National w/ Shamir
July 7 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel w/ Shamir
July 8 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse w/ Shamir
July 9 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre w/ Shamir
July 11 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic w/ Shamir
July 12 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall w/ Shamir
July 13 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs BBQ w/ Shamir
July 14 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater w/ Shamir
July 16 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre w/ Shamir
July 17 – Ogden, UT @ Ogden Amphitheatre w/ Sylvan Esso
July 18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl at Hard Rock
July 19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom

Posted on January 23rd, 2018

Artists:

“You’ve got to understand that I could be your man, or a first world problem,” goes the standout line on Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new track ‘First World Problem’.

The song is the first original song since their album Multi-Love and it thematically and sonically follows that album’s sound, though it does feel more like a dub mix of the track than anything else.

The band also covered The Grateful Dead for the Day of The Dead release on 4AD.

Lyrics:
When I woke
I found my phone in the bed clothes
and the curtain glowed crimson through the window
To think of her was to want her
Would you want me too?
She’s got it all and yet
She’s betting all she has on a first world problem
You’ve got to understand
That I could be your man or a first world problem
I know that I was better as a loser
She’s eating birthday cake inside the disco
I may be lost but I’m a lost man
In love with you
She’s got it all and yet
She’s betting all she has on a first world problem
You’ve got to understand
That I could be your man or a first world problem

Posted on May 26th, 2016

Artists:

From psychedelic rock outliers to pop flirters, New Zealand’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra have decided to dispense with the weirdo Captain Beefheart lo-fi disposition and give us something with clarity and heart.

Portland-based Ruban Nielson’s third album shows what can happen when you stop hiding behind colourful noise and focus on making songs that resonate. The title of the record comes from the experience that Nielson had with his wife where their relationship became a polyamorous one as another joined them in their home. That woman, coded Laura in the article, is the subject of most of the record (and took the album cover), addressed in verse in the title track – “It’s not that this song’s about her / Most songs are about her.”

And they really are. “Messed with Polly and Marie / Took some Xany and Addy / Does this mean you’ll never blow me again? / Love dissolved in acid rain / Tears are falling down,” Nielson sings in a coded-not-so coded way on ‘Like Acid Rain’.

The anguish and aftermath is felt throughout as Nielson deals with the confusing fallout of a seismic shift in his family’s life. TLDR: the girl left due to not having a visa and the album’s last song ‘Puzzles’ seems to be a pissed-off address to that fact (“America, open up your door / Is it right to always fight against the other? / What is a person of color? / Is it wrong to have zone that isn’t monochrome?”)

The album could all have sounded bogged down in that sentiment but feels like a love letter to music greats, or at least nods to them – ‘The World Is Crowded’ sounds like an aquatic take on a Steely Dan hit, ‘UR Life One Night’ sounds like it’s on the Prince merry-go-round of guitar funk with drums replaced at the last minute with a pram rattling.

There’s still an overarching tinniness to the improved production but there’s also a variety previously unheard like on ‘Extreme Wealth And Casual Cruelty – Flamenco-tinged psychedelia the kind that Super Furry Animals embraced in their latter albums.

‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ is glittery disco, with Nielson dispensing with shrill vocals in favour of a soulful falsetto. It isn’t going to rival D’Angelo as it sounds like it’s being sung through a phone but it’s a new shape for UMO.

That song is about the hyper-connected modern dilemma of waiting for someone to get in touch and that someone here is Laura who the couple are longing to return. That Multi-Love was being finished as Laura left for the final time gives the album a rawness in emotion not present in Nielson’s music before.

It’s particularly palpable in the self-doubt of worth on ‘Necessary Evil’ (“We’re in love / But I don’t get what you see in me”), a low-slung psychedelic jazz-funk groove. Rather than make fucked up lo-fi music, Nielson has made super-fi music from a fucked up situation, which makes for more striking resonant music.

Listen on Spotify.

Posted on June 5th, 2015

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My favourite songs of the month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below.

The songs

  1. Jamie xx – ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’ ft. Young Thug & Popcaan
  2. Shamir – ‘Hot Mess’
  3. Bicep – ‘Just’
  4. Boot & Tax – ‘Dancin’
  5. Roosevelt – ‘Night Moves’
  6. Tame Impala – ‘Eventually’
  7. Alessia Cara – ‘Here’
  8. Anna B Savage – ‘I’
  9. Jake Houlsby – ‘Yannina’
  10. All Tvvins – ‘Too Young To Live’
  11. Fierce Mild – ‘Small Talk’
  12. Fight Like Apes – ‘The Schillaci Sequence’
  13. Nao – ‘Inhale/Exhale’
  14. Pleasure Beach – ‘Go’
  15. LA Priest – ‘Party Zute / Learning to Love’
  16. Roisin Murphy-  ‘Uninvited Guest’
  17. Nicolas Jaar – ‘No One is Looking at U’
  18. Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons – ‘Sacred Dance of the Demon’
  19. Tomorrows – ‘Free’
  20. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘ Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’
  21. Oh Wonder – ‘Livewire’
  22. Sorcha Richardson – ‘Petrol Station’
  23. Overcoats – ‘The Fog’
  24. Blooms – ‘Love’
  25. Mac Demarco – ‘The Way You’d Love Her’
  26. Jape – ‘Harrington Street’
  27. Real Lies – ‘Seven Sisters’
  28. Keita Sano – ‘Once I Found A Diamond’
  29. Palmbomen II – ‘Cindy Savalas’
  30. Neon Indian – ‘Annie’

Playmoss playlist (Soundcloud + Youtube)

Spotify

Posted on June 2nd, 2015

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My new music show is live every Thursday from 10pm to midnight on TXFM. The show starts about six minutes into the first hour.

Listen: Part One

  1. The Housemartins –  Caravan Of Love
  2. Jamie xx –  I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times (radio edit)
  3. Neon Indian –  Annie
  4. Disclosure ft. Gregory Porter  – Holding On (Radio Edit)
  5. Bicep –  Just (Original Mix)
  6. Floating Points –  Vacuum Boogie
  7. Blooms – Loves
  8. Fatima – Technology
  9. Alessia Cara – Here
  10. Run The Jewels  – Early (feat. BOOTS)
  11. A$AP Rocky – Back Home (feat. Mos Def x Acyde)
  12. Baths – Lovely Bloodflow
  13. Nicolas Jaar – Variations

Listen: Part Two 

  1. Radiohead –  Bloom (Jamie xx Rework Part 3)
  2. Jamie xx –  SeeSaw (featuring Romy & Four Tet)
  3. Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons –  Sacred Dance of the Demon
  4. Bottin & Rodion  – One for All
  5. Boot & Tax  – Soultains of Mountain
  6. Kelela – Bank Head
  7. Rusangano / Family –  Standard
  8. Tei Shi – Go Slow
  9. Unknown Mortal Orchestra –  The World Is Crowded
  10. Jape  – Harrington Street
  11. Soak  – Wait
  12. RiZA  – Kabembe

You can listen live on Thursdays to the show on 105.2FM, online, the iOs app, Android app or if you missed it, along with all the other shows, via the listen back section

Posted on May 29th, 2015

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My new music show is live every Thursday from 10pm to midnight on TXFM. The show starts about six minutes into the first hour.

Part One

  1. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment- ‘Sunday Candy’
  2. Songhoy Blues – ‘Soubour’
  3. Princess – ‘Black Window’
  4. Young Wonder – ‘Sweet Dreaming’
  5. Jamie xx – ‘Loud Places’ (featuring Romy)
  6. Hudson Mohawke – ‘Ryderz’
  7. Young Fathers – ‘Rain Or Shine’
  8. EMBRZ – ‘Silent’ feat. Amy Rose
  9. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’
  10. Courtney Barnett – ‘Depreston’
  11. Not Squares – ‘Oops Said Hi’
  12. Le Galaxie – ‘Tell me Twice’
  13. Girl Band – ‘Lawman’

Part Two 

  1. JUCE – ‘The Other One’
  2. Chvrches – ‘Dead Air’
  3. Wolf Alice – ‘Bros’
  4. Ham Sandwich – ‘Broken (Start Over)’
  5. Calm Candy – ‘Tunnels’
  6. Wet – ‘Deadwater’
  7. Flying Lotus – ‘Dead Man’s Tetris’ (feat. Captain Murphy & Snoop Dogg)
  8. Outkast – ‘Aquemini’
  9. Roots Manuva – ‘Like A Drum’
  10. Kelela – ‘Guns & Synths’
  11. George FitzGerald –  ‘Call It Love (If You Want To)’ [feat. Lawrence Hart]
  12. Lianne La Havas – ‘Unstoppable’
  13. Amber Run – ‘5AM’
  14. Cinema – ‘Horizon’
  15. D’Angelo – ‘Betray My Heart’
  16. Lakker – ‘Oktavist’

You can listen live on Thursdays to the show on 105.2FM, online, the iOs app, Android app or if you missed it, along with all the other shows, via the listen back section

Posted on April 24th, 2015

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra have a new album on the way called Multi-Love in May and you know what that means. Gigs. Specifically an Irish one.

The band are playing Whelan’s on Saturday September 26th. Tickets are €16.50 on sale Friday at 9am from Ticketmaster but you can win tickets if you leave a comment below before 6pm tomorrow.

Posted on March 25th, 2015

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LocalNatives_Hummingbird_COVER-1500-725x380

Lots of albums being released at the moment so it’s hard to keep up. Here’s a handy list of what’s on offer at the moment.

Local Natives – Hummingbird

Excellent followup to the LA band’s debut sets them apart from their influences and sees them establish themselves as a considerable band in their own right. Produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner.

Full A-Z →

Posted on January 30th, 2013

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Ford Lopatin

Jensen Sportag Two years ago, I ran a series of guest posts from people involved in Irish music featuring their top 5 Irish acts at that moment. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to international and ask a similar question – “Who are your top 5 new artists of 2011?”. Musicians, bloggers, record shop owners, journalists, bookers and radio presenters will all be answering that question.

Dev Sherlock is the presenter of Hype Machine Radio and a nice bloke with a penchant for Paul Weller and Silk Cut Blue cigarettes. Here are his five essential new artists of 2011:

Read Dev’s top 5 new artists of 2011…»

Posted on December 7th, 2011

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The best of recent album streams in A-Z. Plenty more in the Album Streams category.

Posted on June 16th, 2011

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The weird world of Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a heady trip into psychedelic and lo-fi experimentation. Like Javelin’s enjoyable all-over-the-shop album No Más, the Portland-based band led by Kiwi Ruben Nielsen have an adept knowledge of pop hooks and melodies that pierce your consciousness regardless of what else is going on. Whether it’s the Beatles-esque guitar style of ‘Thought Ballune’, the Bibio-esque lo-fi bass-funk of ‘How Can U Luv Me’ or the distorted psych-rock of ‘Ffunny Ffrends’ and ‘Nerve Damage!’, their debut self-titled EP on The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing is worth picking up if you can find a copy. A debut LP is coming on Fat Possum in June.

If you’re a fan of Little Dragon, allow me to introduce you to their remix…
Download: Little Dragon – Nightlight (Unknown Mortal Orchestra Remix)

Posted on April 13th, 2011

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