Considering Unknown Mortal Orchestra has only been a group for a little less than six years, the psychedelic pop outfit has managed to become an integral player in the resurgence of accessible psych rock. Releasing an album every other year since its inception, UMO has repeatedly received critical acclaim for the group’s unique use of instrumental layering and intricate compositions, and will be playing along side the recently announced Coachella headliners, Guns N Roses, Calvin Harris, and LCD Soundsystem this April.
The trio’s third and most recent album, Multi-Love, is no exception to the three musicians’ norm.
With UMO’s foreman, Ruban Nielson, producing, mixing and engineering the album to its entirety, Multi-Love, takes listeners on a sonically ambiguous journey. Opening up the LP with title track “Multi Love,” Nielson slowly introduces his listeners to a diverse amalgamation of lyrical and instrumental complexities, showing his production chops within the first four minutes of the album. Leaving the much-loved UMO’s psychedelia with the first song, the next track, “Like Acid Rain,” demonstrates a funkier, jazz-infused side of Nielson’s musical cache. Drums lackadaisically hit the hi-hat bolstering a sound quality comparable to a full jazz ensemble, and Nielson’s vocals back the percussion, providing a thin texture that leaves you wondering if, “Like Acid Rain,” is from another one of UMO’s albums entirely, and making it obvious that this album will be nothing short of sundry.
Psychedelic, funky, good old-fashioned rock-n-roll and everything else in between, it is clear from just the first two tracks of Multi-Love that this album was meant to offer a surplus of musical genres. The album’s closer “Puzzles,” is a seven-minute tune that flits with a darker side of UMO; slower and grungier, the hard rock song that sticks out amongst the already multivalent group of songs.
With Nielson’s abilities to manipulate tracks in a such a unique fashion, Multi-Love, stands as an album that can be listened to on repeat, offering myriad textures and layers with each spin; an unparalleled undertaking. Having received the acclaim Multi-Love is meant to deserve, UMO has been on the road playing shows at every end of the country.
As UMO continues their long global tour, including multiple shows in Los Angeles at the Observatory on February 2nd and The Fonda Theatre on the 3rd, you can likely catch them in a city near you. Playing anywhere from smaller, intimate venues to larger scale festivals like Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, GA and Coachella Musical Festival in Indio, CA, there will be no shortage of opportunities to check out their live show. Don’t miss an occasion to see this psychedelic trio put on a show that will likely leave you in a mind-altered state.