Unknown Mortal Orchestra Delivers Both Psych-Pop Dreams and Sultry R&B Grooves

The Portland three-piece's new album favors '80s synths and horns over fuzzy guitar, but keeps up tight, lo-fi harmonies.

[FUZZY SYNTHS] Portland three-piece Unknown Mortal Orchestra delivers lo-fi, psych-pop dream grooves that leave you swaying, daydreaming and sun-scorched. Fame came quickly for the group: Singer-guitarist Ruban Nielson posted a track on Bandcamp anonymously in 2010, immediately gaining the attention of major music sites and propelling the band's introduction as a major reveal. While earlier albums focused on psychedelic sounds, last year's Multi-Love revels in '70s funk and sultry R&B, which continues on the recent one-off single, "First World Problem." "She's eating birthday cake inside the disco," sings Nielson in a gauzy croon. The track favors '80s synths and horns over fuzzy guitar, but keeps the tight, lo-fi harmonies that's characterized the band through three albums.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra plays Sunday at 4:55 pm.

(Amy Churchwell)

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