A lot has happened in Ruban Nielson's life since he came to Portland in 2007. The Mint Chicks—the band he'd formed with his brother six years earlier—broke up, and Nielson worked as an illustrator while starting a new family. Unknown Mortal Orchestra was reluctantly born after he anonymously posted the song "Ffunny Ffriends" online, something he'd written in his spare time. Three full-length albums later, UMO has taken on a life of its own, growing from a lo-fi bedroom project into a full band. UMO's latest, Multi-Love, gave way to more R&B influences while retaining Nielson's mad-scientist ear for layered, oddball sounds. It's also his most personal album to date, dealing with a short-lived polyamorous relationship he and his wife had with another woman. The results are stunning. And it further solidifies Nielson as one of the most creative and real artists in Portland. MARK LORE Also see My, What a Busy Week!
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