The hardest thing about the marvelous new Unknown Mortal Orchestra album—cleverly titled II—is deciding which track is your favorite. (Fortunately, you don't ever actually need to pick favorites in life, despite the rank-happy, list-making, bullet-point culture of this crazy, daze-y world we live in. But I digress!) Here are three splendid tunes from II, and lest UMO's inventive underwater production distracts you from the quality of Ruban Nielson's songwriting, here these songs are offered on unadorned acoustic guitar.
He recorded these last fall for UK's The Fly, long before anyone had heard the album. These are terrific takes from Nielson, suggesting that he could have taken these songs in any direction and still come up with a winner. II, which I'll just go out on a limb and say is the best Portland album of 2013 so far, officially comes out February 5, although those who pre-ordered their copy received an early download of it. Expect lots more from UMO in the coming weeks, including a video for "So Good at Being in Trouble" starring Chris Mintz-Plasse, plus a lengthy tour which returns the band home in time for a show at the Aladdin Theater on April 5.
"So Good at Being in Trouble" and "Faded in the Morning" are after the jump!