As Unknown Mortal Orchestra, New Zealand by-way-of Portland songwriter and guitarist Ruban Nielson marries psychedelia with sharp soul touchstones. Timeless pop hooks are produced with a soft buzzsaw edge so that the effect is akin to Stevie Wonder turning Plastic Ono Band into Nuggets-like gems. With bassist Jacob Portrait and drummer Greg Rogrove, Unknown Mortal Orchestra is preparing a full-length for Jagjaguwar in early 2013. In the meantime, the band have a number of upcoming North American tour dates, including an East Coast run with Grizzly Bear.
To celebrate news of their signing and the launch of their tour with Grizzly Bear, the band has shared a first taste from the new album. The song, “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark),” is a bittersweet romp with melodies more delicate than most approaching the genre would dare. Its b-side, the 7″-only “Waves of Confidence,” is slow-grind sizzurp psych that, by its end, has built and layered to transcendent heights. This limited 7-inch will be exclusively available at UMO’s tour with Grizzly Bear in September.