There’s a mystique to Unknown Mortal Orchestra, like music in a summertime dream state. You get the best of many worlds because it’s not exactly indie-pop and not altogether psychedelic, although the sound leans more toward the latter. The New Zealand trio (by way of Portland) has a sound that’s almost haunted, especially on their second full-length II, caught up in swirling visions of varying shades of rock, psych…even jazz.
UMO is taking things a step further with their follow-up to II, a five-track EP called Blue Record – named figuratively and literally. It will be available digitally and on blue vinyl, featuring stripped-down versions of three songs from II: “Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark),” “Faded in the Morning” and “So Good at Being in Trouble”; and two other songs by different artists, “Swing Lo Magellan” (Dirty Projectors) and “Puttin’ It Down” (Beck). Each track was recorded straight to tape with a single mic and an acoustic guitar in songwriter Ruban Nielson‘s basement.
Blue Record’s official release date is October 29th, but they’ll have copies available before then on their current tour. UMO’s next stop is in Austin for a show tonight at the Mohawk, 912 Red River, on the outdoor stage. Jackson Scott starts the show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around for the aftershow on the inside stage, featuring Golden Suits, Strangelandic and Genuine Leather. Doors open at 9 p.m.