Kraut-soul trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra have got a dangerously potent combination of guts and chops. That’s the only explanation why they recently took on Otis Redding’s timeless “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” and remade it in their own image.
The Portland-to-Auckland outfit visited BBC Radio 6’s Music with Marc Riley last month when they covered the 1968 single, which was originally recorded mere days before the singer’s tragic death. While the band’s recent version of Lindstrøm’s “Rà-àkõ-st” was a full-on post-rock revision, their take on Redding is subtle and sensitive like the source material, featuring slightly souring guitar play and, toward the end, light jazz drumming. Also, fear not, Ruban Nielson nails the whistle solo.
For more, revisit our trip to the studio with Unknown Mortal Orchestra as they wrapped up their latest album II. For original songs, may we suggest the videos in which: McLovin battles a cult; an art student is emasculated; and puppets masturbate.