MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Up-And-Comers: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

When punk/post hardcore outfit The Mint Chicks went into, um, retirement, guitarist Ruban Nielson thought he was pretty much done with music. I’m so glad he wasn’t. His dabblings in basement psych rock have created what we now know as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Since their self-titled release last year, UMO has been building a solid following, not just in the U.S. but internationally as well (Nielson is from Portland, but The Mint Chicks was from New Zealand, so UMO has a few built-in connections.) And touring with Grizzly Bear hasn’t hurt them, either.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is definitely not a reincarnation of The Mint Chicks. This is a whole different vibe, a more laid-back indie rock sound with just enough fuzz to make things interesting.

With a new record (aptly named II) coming out in February, UMO is sharing an advance single from the record, “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark),” which you can stream below. If this song is any indication, this is an album you’re going to want in your collection.

Typical of indie bands, UMO aren’t letting the grass grow under their feet; they’re hitting the road (or the air, or the open waters, if you will) right after Christmas with a tour that’s hitting New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the U.S. You can check their tour calendar or pre-order II from the band’s website. Meanwhile, take a listen to the track below and see what you think!



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About the Author


Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Kim Phelps found her inspiration and love for music listening to local bands play in the coffeehouses around town. She soon found her own voice as a singer-songwriter, and eventually began playing her own gigs in the coffee shops. Her personal influences include Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power, but as an indie musician herself, she has an affinity for any band or artist who pursues creative freedom on the outskirts of the music industry. As our Indie correspondent, Kim makes a point of highlighting up-and-coming independent acts who are creating a buzz and building an audience. When she's not blogging for us or playing in the coffee shops, Kim works as a barista herself to help pay the bills. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Posted in: Featured, Indie/Alternative Music


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