Clearly not ones for flowery album titles, Unknown Mortal Orchestra are following up their 2011 self-titled debut with ‘II’, due for release next week. Ahead of that, the folks at The Hype Machine are streaming the album in full.
‘II’ picks up where the debut’s old soul left off, but swings with vigour between infectious singles Swim and Sleep and So Good at Being in Trouble, the leathery drum cracks and restless guitar funk of One at a Time, and the lugubrious blues of closer Secret Xtians. While the urgency levels on ‘II’ fluctuate, Rubin Nielson’s serene falsetto is an essential consistent presence – sweeping through the sludgy lo-fi of No Need For A Leader and preventing it collapsing into indulgent psych-rock noodling.
It’s an interplay that’s present throughout; the trio seem to lean towards strung-out, mind-warping passages, but frequently pull things back towards their overarching sugary-pop sensibility. And while opener From The Sun speaks of searching out the shade, much of ‘II’ feels like being coated in warm afternoon sunshine. Bask in it below.