Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Biography
New Zealander Ruban Nielson started making music under the moniker Unknown Mortal Orchestra after the disbandment of Flying Nun Records noise-rock band the Mint Chicks. He and his family then moved to Portland, where they lived for a time in a yurt and Nielson met future bandmates Jacob Portrait (bass) and Riley Geare (drums). In 2010, Nielson released the home-recorded track "Ffunny Ffriends" on Bandcamp, with virtually zero information about the band. Blogs picked up on the track and a self-titled album soon followed in summer 2011.
Jagjaguwar signed Unknown Mortal Orchestra for their second album, II. In 2013, Nielson released the Blue Record EP, which features acoustic versions of several songs from II, plus covers of Beck and Dirty Projectors, inspired by the time he spent on tour playing stripped down sets in radio stations. The band made an extensive world tour in 2014 and will be playing the Iceland Airwaves Festival in early November.