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Tuned In: Album Reviews

The high and low notes that have landed on our desk this week

Published on July 28th 2011.

Tuned In: Album Reviews

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Every so often an album is released which boasts an array of musical layers and styles, and every so often it sounds distinctly pretentious to the majority of musical fanatics. But once in a blue moon, the same aforementioned formula hits the commercial conveyer belt and just, well, works in a seemingly coherent and rounded way. Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s (UMO) newly released self-titled album mixes a surprisingly unified fusion of several influential elements – classic psychedelic rock, Krautrock rhythms and proto-hip hop beats. New Zealand-born, Ruban Nielson, describes his creation as, “junkshop record collector pop” ( brownie points if you can get your head around the semantics of this ). Previous to this, Nielson had been touring with award-winning, New Zealand punk band, Mint Chicks, but the band split after relocating to Portland, Oregon.

UMO, seen as an escape hatch project to a new musical dimension by Nielson, first came onto the scene working as a bandcamp carrying a single called ‘Ffunny Ffrends’. Perceived as a project for his personal amusement, Nielson soon gathered a following amongst the music bloggers with one of them suggesting he keep his identity anonymous. Nielson went with this until his success took him on tour with a live band – Jake Portrait on bass and teenage prodigy Julien Ehrlich on drums. The band hasn’t looked back since, with a massive USA tour and most recently, a successful UK tour. This album is surely for all the sceptics of music that pushes boundaries wrapped with a big two finger salute.     

Out now on True Panther Sounds

Givers - In Light

Givers – In Light
Upbeat, electric and eclectic – a few amongst many adjectives to describe the Givers debut album In Light, to be released via Island Records and Grassnote. The album evokes an instrumental mix of memorable tunes for any listener.

In Light will be released on 1st August  

Noel Gallaghers - High Flying Birds

Noel Gallagher - High Flying Birds
The upbeat ‘high flying’ vocal establishes Noel Gallagher’s new debut album High Flying Birds, to be released by EMI records. The various instrumental tones and rhythmic beats make for an enjoyable listen.

High Flying Birds will be released on 22nd August

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