Laneway Presents Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Just announced for Meredith Music Festival, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA – the Portland via New Zealand outfit fronted by psychedelic visionary Ruban Nielson – will return to Australia for a run of national dates in December.
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Nielson and his cohorts from his adopted hometown – bassist Jacob Portrait, drummer Riley Geare, and keyboardist Quincy McCrary – will play at Perth’s Astor Theatre on Thursday December 3, Sydney’s The Metro Theatre on Friday December 4, Brisbane’s The Triffid on Sunday December 6 and Melbourne’s Corner Hotel on Tuesday December 8. It’ll mark UMO’s first shows since their exclusive dates at the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in 2014.
Already one of the year’s best albums, Multi-Love follows the introspective and road-weary II (2013) and their self-titled 2011 debut, which blew the lid off the bedroom project started by Nielson following his relocation to Portland and the dissolution of the Mint Chicks.
First single Multi-Love – described by The Herald Sun as “UMO’s Paranoid Android” – sees Nielson’s vocals soar to new heights. In its 4/5 star review, The Guardian’s Tim Jonze said the album takes it cues from soul music, but splashes “the canvas with futurist synths and trippy vocal effects”. FasterLouder declared Multi-Love as the band’s “best LP yet”, while Tone Deaf described it as “a whirlwind and entirely strange adventure that leaves you breathless and exhilarated”. Watch the kaleidoscopic video for new single Ur Life One Night – described by its director Manoj Leonel Jahson as a “sexually charged riot” – here.
Though conceived in the bedroom, UMO are a force to be reckoned with on stage. With Geare and Portrait locking down a tight groove, Nielson’s guitar prowess really comes to the fore. The band’s songs often descend into extended psychedelic jams, and with the addition of McCrary on keys, their new material – as well as favourites from their first two records – has taken on an extra dimension live. Don’t miss them when they play songs from Multi-Love in Australia for the very first time. UMO will be supported by New Zealand three-piece Las Tetas. Formed by auntie-niece combo Lucy and Charlotte with their buddy Kristal on guitar, they play a brand of cathartic punk rock that in their own words tears “feigned neo-jangle 'sincerity' to shreds”.
UMO are scheduled to appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan later this month. Multi-Love is out now on Jagjaguwar through Inertia.
- Thursday 3 December - Astor Theatre, Perth (18+)
- Friday 4 December - Metro Theatre, Sydney (18+)
- Sunday 6 December - The Triffid, Brisbane (18+)
- Tuesday 8 December - Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)