ALBUM STREAM: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra
WRITTEN BY
Nate Brennan

Smith Westerns, Telekinesis, and Yuck are three of the hottest new bands to break out in 2011. But which up-and-coming act are they crushing on? Portland, OR-based trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who have been recruited to tour with all three on the strength of their psychedelic self-titled debut for Fat Possum Records. Listen to the entire album below before its June 21 release.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the brainchild of New Zealand-born Ruban Nielson, whose defunct power-pop and noise rock band Mint Chicks were gaining steam in his native country, winning five Tui awards, NZ's equivalent of a Grammy, playing the massive Big Day Out Festival, and opening for bands like the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and TV on the Radio. In 2009, after a fight with his bandmates, the Mint Chicks split and Nielson started working on new solo songs.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra were discovered in late 2010 when Nielson posted a single song to Bandcamp (album opener "Ffunny Ffriends"), which went viral. Fat Possum soon inked the band -- now fleshed out to include Jake Portrait on bass and Julien Ehrlich on drums -- to release their debut.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a kaleidoscopic psych-rock gem, which their bio describes as sounding like "Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone, and RZA jamming on some kids' TV theme too dark to ever be broadcast."

They kick off their North American tour dates on July 14. Check out the complete dates below.

7/14, Madison, WI (UW Madison Memorial Terrace) ^
?7/15 Cincinnati, OH (MOTR Pub)
?7/16 Bloomington, IN (The Bishop)
?7/17, Chicago, IL (Lincoln Hall) +
?7/18, Milwaukee, WI (Turner Hall Ballroom) +
?7/19, Minneapolis, MN (Varsity Theatre) +
?7/22, Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill Block Party) +
?7/23, Vancouver, BC (Biltmore Cabaret) +
?7/24, Portland, OR (Doug Fir Lounge) +
?7/26, San Francisco, CA (The Independent) +
?7/28 Visalia, CA (Cellar Door) +
7/29, San Diego, CA (Casbah) +
?7/30, Los Angeles, CA (Troubador) +
9/9, Athens, GA (40 Watt Club) *
910, Durham, NC (Hopscotch Music Festival) &
9/11, Washington, DC (Black Cat) *
9/12, Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church) *
9/14, New York, NY (Webster Hall) *
9/16, Boston, MA (Paradise) *
9/17, Montreal, QC (Le National) *
9/18, Toronto, ON (Opera House) *
9/19, Detroit, MI (Majestic Theatre) *
9/20, Bloomington, IN (The Bishop) *
9/21, Grinnell, IA (Grinnell College Gardner Lounge)
9/22, Champaign-Urbana, IL (Pygmalion Music Festival) *
9/23, Cincinnati, OH (Midpoint Music Festival) *
10/3, Los Angeles, CA (El Rey Theatre) *
10/6, El Paso, TX (Lowbrow Palace) *
10/7, Dallas, TX (Club Dada) *
10/8, Austin, TX (The Mohawk) *
10/9, Houston, TX (Fitzgeralds) *
10/10, New Orleans, LA (One Eyed Jacks) *
10/11, Tallahassee, FL (Club Downunder) *
10/13, Birmingham, AL (Bottletree) *
10/13, Atlanta, GA (Masquerade – Hell Stage) *

+ w/ Yuck
* w/ Toro Y Moi
^ w/ P.S. I Love You
& w/ Times New Viking, Gross Ghost

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