Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Everything To Know About The Band

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a psychedelic, indie, garage rock, R&B and lo-fi band founded in 2010 by former The Mint Chicks member, Ruban Nielson. The band is based in Portland, Oregon but it originated from New Zealand. Unknown Mortal Orchestra is currently signed to the record label Jagjaguwar, under which it released four of its five albums.

Now known as one of the fastest rising rock bands in the country, the Unknown Mortal Orchestra members appear to be hungry for more attention and all we have to do is sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride they take us on.


Unknown Mortal Orchestra was founded by a New Zealand-American musician named Ruban Nielson. Nielson was also the founder of his former band The Mint Chicks but after falling out with his former band members, he decided to create a new one. Fresh off his old rock band, Nielson formed a new rock band in 2010, along with Jake Portrait. They were later joined by Nielson’s younger brother and bandmate at The Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson.

Who Are The Unknown Mortal Orchestra?

The band operates with Nielson as its lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter; Jake Portrait as its bassist; Kody Nielson as a singer and drummer, amongst some other temporary band members like Gregory Rogove, Chris Nielson and Amber Baker. Julien Ehrlich joined the band in 2010 as a drummer. Ehrlich left the group in 2012 to form his own group called Whitney.

First Three Album Release

On June 21, 2011, the band released its first album titled Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The album was released under Fat Possum Records in the format of CD, LP, cassette, and download. The full length of the album is 30 minutes 9 seconds. From the piece, two singles were released, first was FunnyFfriends, released on May 17, 2010, and the second, Thoughts Balling, released on June 1, 2010. The album has a total of nine tracks and one bonus track.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra L-R Riley Geare, Ruban Nielson, Quincy McCrary and Jake Portrait – Image Source

The band’s second album is titled II. The piece was released on February 5, 2013, under Jagjaguwar. It was released in download format, CD, LP and cassette. The genre of the 40 minutes 25 seconds long album is indie rock, psychedelic rock and lo-fi. The album was produced by Ruban Nielson and received a four out of five stars rating from AllMusic, an 8/10 rating by Hot Press, four out of five ratings by NME, three out of five stars by The Observer and Pitch Fork rated it 7.3/10. The album consists of ten tracks with no bonus track.

Multi-Love is the band’s third album. The album was released through Jagjaguwar on May 26, 2015. It was produced by Ruban Nielson, Kody Nielson, and Jake Portrait. The nine tracks on it last for 42 minutes 15 seconds. It was recorded as psychedelic rock, indie rock, indie pop, and psychedelic soul. Two singles were released from the album, Multi-Love and Can’t Keep Checking My Phone. The latter was used as one of the tracks by EA Sports on its side video game FIFA 16.

Other Albums

Sex & Food is the band’s fourth album. The psychedelic, funk, rock, folk, R&B and disco album was released on April 6, 2018, through Jagjaguwar. The album was produced by Ruban Nielson and it has 12 songs on it which lasts for 40 minutes 45 seconds. From the album, American Guilt, Not in Love We’re Just High and Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays were released as singles earlier the same year the album was released.

On October 26, 2018, the band dropped its fifth and latest album so far, titled IC-01. The seven-track album was released through Jagjaguwar and it lasts for 28 minutes 10 seconds. Only one single was released from the experimental jazz and psychedelic rock album. The track Hanoi 6 was released as a single on September 25, 2018. The album was recorded in Hanoi, Vietnam.

See Also: Serpentwithfeet – Everything To Know About The Musician

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s EP

Since Unknown Mortal Orchestra was formed, the band has dropped 5 albums, one EP and 14 singles. On October 29, 2013, the band released its only EP titled Blue Record. The piece consists of five tracks which run for fifteen minutes. The EP was rated 3 out of 5 stars by AllMusic and 3½ out of 5 stars by Consequence of Sound.


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