umo blue record

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s second album II is one of our favourites of the year, so we’re excited to bring you the news that the band has a new release prepared to be released before the end of the year. Blue Record is a new EP that will be released as a bonus on the re-issue of II on blue vinyl on October 29th. It features acoustic versions of three songs from that album and two covers: Beck’s “Puttin’ It Down” (from Stereopathetic Soulmanure) and “Swing Lo Magellan” by Dirty Projectors, which you can hear below.

Beneath the stream of UMO’s “Swing Lo Magellan” cover is Ruban Nielson’s explanation for the inspiration and release of the Blue Record EP.

Ruban Nielson says of the EP:

“I only started playing the acoustic guitar last year. I’d always preferred the idea that the guitar converts a sound into voltage and then becomes really loud. I thought the acoustic guitar was a little bit too twee for me or something. But after being offered some opportunities to play various acoustic sessions to promote the new record, in situations where it wasn’t possible to record the whole band, I decided to treat it like a challenge to try and play acoustic and not have it be lame. After all I was really into Arthur Lee’s ability with an acoustic and started wondering if I could make it sound convincing. Anyway, after being somewhat forced to develop some skill on the acoustic through these various radio sessions and things like that I decided to record some songs acoustically and release them since people seemed to be liking the way I was doing it. Everything was recorded straight to tape in my basement with a one mic set up.”

“After recording three songs from II I started thinking about doing some other songs that I like. I thought that I’d do an old song I’d always liked even when I was a kid and a new song that I’ve been listening to a lot recently. The old song is ‘Puttin It Down’ by Beck. It’s on the album Stereopathic Soulmanure and I always loved the lyrics. So funny and so sad. To me this song is super real. The new song is ‘Swing Lo Magellan’ from the album of the same name by Dirty Projectors. I like how this band who kind of specialize in melting brains leaned on pure melody on that album. The more I listened to it the more I realized how strong this melody was. I found myself listening to it a lot. It reminds me of Velvet Underground or Transformer era Lou Reed for some reason. When I saw them play last they opened with this song and I hadn’t heard that album yet and was like ‘wait what’s that one?'”