Unknown Mortal Orchestra hasn’t released a new album since 2018, but the group will reward patient fans with an as-yet-untitled double album next year via Jagjaguwar. The project’s first single, “I Killed Captain Cook,” is out today and finds UMO leader Ruban Nielson accompanying himself solo on acoustic guitar.
The track “is told from the perspective of the Hawaiian that killed Captain James Cook, the English explorer largely responsible for the colonization of Polynesia, who attempted to kidnap Hawaiian chief Kalaniʻōpuʻu, and eventually met his demise in Hawai’i as a result,” according to a press release.
Nielson’s mother Deedee Aipolani Nielson, “a Kanaka Maoli from Hilo and Miss Aloha Hula 1973,” used to tell him the story of Captain Cook as a child, and he wrote the song in tribute to her. The elder Nielson also appears in the song’s music video.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra will return to the road March 20 in Spokane, Wash., and will then play five shows in the U.K. starting in late May. The new album is the follow-up to 2018’s IC-01 Hanoi, UMO’s second full-length release of that year following Sex & Food. The group released two one-off singles last year, “Weekend Run” and “That Life,” and both are expected to appear on the forthcoming album.
Here are Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s tour dates:
March 20: Spokane, Wash. (Knitting Factory)
March 22: Portland, Ore. (Crystal Ballroom)
March 25: Seattle (Moore Theatre)
March 27: Sacramento, Calif. (Ace of Spades)
March 28: San Francisco (Fillmore)
March 31: San Diego (The Observatory)
April 1: Los Angeles (Hollywood Palladium)
April 2: Phoenix (The Van Buren)
April 4: Denver (Ogden Theatre)
April 5: Kansas City, Mo. (Uptown Theater)
April 6: St. Louis (The Pageant)
April 7: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
April 8: Chicago (Radius)
April 10: Detroit (Majestic Theatre)
April 11: Toronto (Queen Elizabeth Theatre)
April 13-14: New York (Webster Hall)
April 18: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
April 21: Philadelphia (Fillmore)
April 22: Boston (Roadrunner)
May 30: Bexhill, England (De La Warr Pavilion)
May 31: London (O2 Brixton Academy)
June 15: Manchester, England (Albert Hall)
June 16: Leeds, England (Stylus)
June 17: Glasgow (Galvanizers Yard)