July 20th, 2010 5:33 pm | by MICHAEL MANNHEIMER Music | Posted In: Cut of the Day

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "FFunny FFrends" (Self-Released)

Unknown Mortal OrchestraIn the age of the Internet, it's very rare that a band can make it very far without being discovered. For all the great things that the net and digital media have given us, they've also caused an incredible proliferation of ideas, to the point where we are overexposed to not just music but the musicians who are making the music. Think about all the crass things John Mayer says on Twitter; the 24/7 news cycle of the aughts has even invaded the world of pop
music reporting, to the point that we know that Mayer is looking for “the Joshua Tree of Vaginas” and Ice T thinks Amy Mann should “eat a hot bowl of dicks.” Sometimes it's nice to hear a song the old fashioned way and fall in love with it because, ya know, you can't stop listening to it. That's where "FFunny FFrends" comes in.


So, here's the deal: Unknown Mortal Orchestra is from Portland, but nobody knows who is behind the moniker. The band doesn't have a MySpace account, or a Facebook profile, or much of a web presence besides a bandcamp page that contains just two songs. But slowly, "FFunny FFrends"—which has been online for about two months—is catching on, earning raves on The Catbirdseat and getting some Pitchfork love. And for once, it's totally worthy of the hype: "FFunny FFrends" (love the spelling!) is one of the catchiest slices of lo-fi pop I've heard in a long time.

Opening with a looped, almost hip-hop backbeat, "FFunny FFrends" stands tall amongst the batch of half-baked music released in the wake of chillwave. We don't have another Washed Out or Toro Y Moi here—the fuzzed-out guitar riff is just too dirty and weird, and the song definitely has a steady garage pop feel to it. But "FFunny FFrends" also feels like it's homemade, the work of one dude in his bedroom fooling around with GarageBand and not worrying about the consequences.

It's only a matter of time before people start to catch on and wonder just who is behind Unknown Mortal Orchestra. For now, though, I don't really give a shit. I'm fine just hitting repeat and letting the music do the talking.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra Bandcamp

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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