Following the breakup of The Mint Chicks, singer Ruban Nielson moved to Portland, launching his new career with an anonymous on-line single in 2010. His subsequent psych rock, funk and soul influenced endeavours have been released as The Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Pitchfork hailed the “unique immersive and psychedelic quality” of UMO's debut album, which was awarded the 2012 Taite Music Prize. Nielson won Best Male Solo Artist at the NZ Music Awards and UMO follow-up II was voted Best Alternative Album in 2013. Third album Multi-Love was released in 2015 to strong reviews.
For Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album, frontman and songwriter Ruban Neilson didn’t have to go far for inspiration. The 'Multi-Love' of the title track refers to an emotionally fraught and short-lived ménage à trois between Neilson’s wife Jenny and “Laura”, a fan who took up lodgings at the couple’s Portland home. Director Lionel Williams takes an abstract view of the singer’s situation, with a 3D tour of a mutating, multi-level psychedelic funhouse. A playable version of the experience was released as an app for both Mac and PC.
Ruban Nielson’s Portland-based Unknown Mortal Orchestra explores lo-fi, funk psychedelia on this bittersweet number from their second album. The video, shot by an American cast and crew at counter-culture hangout Venice Beach in Los Angeles, follows Chris Mintz-Plasse (Superbad, Kick-Ass) as he attempts to extricate a loved one from the clutches of a panhandling, Manson Family style cult. Former Mint Chick Nielson (in black jersey and beanie) and his fellow UMO members have cameos but can’t compete with the family members dancing in the California sun.