Song of the Day: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ffunny Ffriends

photo by William Anthony

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. During this special podcast week, we are featuring songs by bands performing during the 2011 Decibel Festival. Today’s selection is “Ffunny Ffriends” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra from their 2011 self-titled album on Fat Possum.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ffunny Ffriends (MP3)

New Zealand native Ruban Nielson transplanted to Portland with his band The Mint Chicks in 2007, and following the group’s chaotic mid-show breakup in 2010, ventured out on his own to explore a different musical avenue. Joined by producer Jake Portrait and drummer Julien Ehrlich, Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the fruit of labors that stemmed from Nielson’s own background and experimentation. The result is a blend of alien pop that echoes 60s psychedelia with a dash of minimalist krautrock, a mixture that has proved to be well-received in most circles. “Ffunny Ffriends” is the first single from UMO’s debut, initially released on bandcamp in late 2010. Since then, the group’s built up considerable buzz, drawing comparisons to Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone, and RZA, with an acclaimed album and seemingly constant touring.

Their next stop will be at Seattle’s own Crocodile Cafe with Toro Y Moi on Wednesday, September 28, the first night of this year’s Decibel Festival. You can find more dates on the band’s Facebook page, and buy tickets for their Wednesday show at the Crocodile here.

Below, catch the band performing “Ffunny Ffriends” live during KEXP’s broadcast from the Doug Fir in Portland during MusicfestNW earlier this month:

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