Unknown Mortal Orchestra is an American and New Zealand rock band composed of singer Ruban Nielson, bassist Jake Portrait and drummer Greg Rogove. The band was started by Nielson (formerly of The Mint Chicks).

Singer and guitarist Ruban Nielson released the track “Ffunny Ffrends” on his Bandcamp profile in the spring of 2010. It was paired with no further information, notably no mention of who created it. Soon, popular bloggers got a hold of the track. Through their reposting and relentless hunt down for the creator, Nielson finally claimed the track as Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s

The band’s debut self-titled album was released June 21, 2011 on Fat Possum Records. The album quickly received critical acclaim. Pitchfork gave the album an 8.1, describing that with “an expert use of space rare for such a lo-fi record, UMO manages a unique immersive and psychedelic quality without relying on the usual array of bong-ripping effects.”[2]

In the spring of 2012, the band won the Taite Music Prize for the album.[3] Although the nominated Unknown Mortal Orchestra did not win Best Alternative Album, Ruban took home the title of Best Male Artist at the 47th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

In September 2012, Unknown Mortal Orchestra announced that they had signed to Jagjaguwar and were working on their second full-length album. Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s sophomore album is titled II and will be released on February 5, 2013.[4] The first single from the forthcoming album, entitled “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)”, was first available as a 7″ on their tour with Grizzly Bear.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has scheduled a 2013 world tour for their forthcoming album. The tour starts off in Australia, follows with several stops in Europe, and finishes in North America after six weeks of shows with Foxygen.[4]