V DUE MARCH 17TH VIA JAGJAGUWAR – PRE-SAVE/ PRE-ORDER HERE
LONDON SHOW MOVED TO TROXY ON 31 MAY 2023 AND IS SOLD OUT; SECOND SHOW ADDED ON 1 JUNE
NEW UK LIVE DATES ADDED IN NEWCASTLE, LIVERPOOL AND BRISTOL IN JUNE 2023
“an album confirming Ruban Nielson’s versatility and imagination, as well as a new willingness to escape the nooks and crannies of his own psyche and engage more fully with the world outside. […] Nielson sounds like an artist who’s arrived at where he needs to be.” – Uncut – 9/10
Unknown Mortal Orchestra share “Nadja,” another taste from the forthcoming double album V, due March 17th 2023 viaJagjaguwar. Arriving alongside the new single is the second of the Vira-Lata-directed videos documenting the lives of two young women which began with the visuals for recently-released single “Layla,” which the New York Times described as “full of warmth, with a soulful vocal melody.” In October of 2022, the group shared — “I Killed Captain Cook” — with a video featuring Nielson’s mother, Deedee Aipolani Nielson, Miss Aloha Hula 1973.
Speaking about the creation of the videos for both “Layla” and “Nadja,” Vira-Lata shares, “We were in awe of the power of the songs’ simplicity; how its beauty rises without pretension, creating an honest and poetic testament that reaches into the heart. We wanted to match the poetic tenderness of the songs with a visually intimate storyline that felt extremely honest and showcased fleeting moments of a true friendship.“
Conceived in Palm Springs, California between the dry freeways and the lush coastline of Hilo, Hawaii, V is led by Hawaiian-New Zealand musician Ruban Nielson and draws from the rich traditions of West Coast AOR, classic hits, weirdo pop and Hawaiian Hapa-haole music. With V, UMO’s first double album, Nielson reframes and enriches the road that led him to this moment. During the pandemic’s early days, Nielson’s brother Kody flew from New Zealand to Palm Springs to help him with his recordings. One of their Hawaiian uncles began displaying health issues, and Nielson realised he was facing a sharper and more acute sense of mortality. To be with him, he put aside his recordings and helped his mother and another of her brothers move from New Zealand and Portland, respectively, to Hawai’i. He reunited with his brother at his cousin’s wedding in Hawai’i and together they travelled back to Palm Springs, where the fourteen singalong anthems, cinematic instrumentals, and mischievous pop songs in V were brought together with the help of his father, Chris Nielson (saxophone/flute), and longstanding UMO member Jake Portrait.
V evokes blue skies, beachside cocktail bars, hotel pools and the darkness that lurks below perfect, pristine surfaces. The desert resort city’s palm tree-lined streets reminded Ruban of a childhood spent playing by hotel swimming pools with his siblings while their entertainer parents performed in showbands across the Pacific and East Asia, and he became aware of the glamorised hedonism he’d internalised since childhood and the darker side of his parents’ lifestyle when they were working as entertainers.
“In Hawaii, everything shifted off of me and my music,” Nielson said. “Suddenly, I was spending more time figuring out what others need and what my role is within my family. I also learned that things I thought were true of myself are bigger than I thought. My way of making mischief – that’s not just me – that’s my whole Polynesian side. I thought I was walking away from music to focus on family, but the two ended up connecting.”
A primary goal of V for Nielson was to make music and art that transcends notions of clout and cultural currency while also aiming to inject having fun back into the process of creating music. For Nielson, V is about having fun while making music and art and by doing so, he reclaims taste as a personal part of selfhood, propelling UMO to new creative heights.
This past October, Unknown Mortal Orchestra announced their first tour in four years with a headline North American and UK tour that will kick off in March shortly after the release of V. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the London show on 31st May 2023 will now take place at Troxy, which is now sold out. A second London show at Troxy has now been added on 1st June. New UK and European live dates have also been added including shows in Newcastle, Bristol and Liverpool. Tickets are on sale now.
Check out “Nadja” below, see UK tour dates below, and pre-save/order V here – released March 17th 2023.
UK TOUR DATES
30/5 – Bexhill, UK @ De La Warr Pavilion 31/5 – London, UK @ Troxy – SOLD OUT 1/6 – London, UK @ Troxy
15/6 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall 16/6 – Leeds, UK @ Stylus 17/6 – Glasgow, UK @ SWG3 Galvanizers 19/6 – Newcastle, UK @ Boiler Shop 20/6 – Liverpool, UK @ Content 21/6 – Bristol, UK @ Bristol 02 Academy 1
31/08/23 – 03/09/12: End Of The Road Festival, UK @ Larmer Tree Gardens
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