Song of the Week – That Life, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Like many of you, as the year is coming to an end, I review the new music I discovered during the year to compile my “best of” list.  One of the songs I dropped onto my 2021 list was “That Life” by the Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO).  I simply like its vibe!

UMO originated from New Zealand but currently hail from Portland, Oregon. The core of the band is Ruban Nielson (lead vocals, guitar, drums, bass, piano, keyboards, synthesizers) and Jacob Portrait (bass, synths, backing vocals).

“That Life” was a single released by the band last August and addresses a life of luxury and indulgence.  In a press release that accompanied the single Nielson said:

I saw this painting by Hieronymus Bosch called The Garden of Earthly Delights and in the painting there was a mixture of crazy stuff going on, representing heaven, earth, and hell. When I was writing this song, “That Life,” I was imaging the same kind of “Where’s Waldo” (or “Where’s Wally” as we call it in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK) of contrasting scenes and multiple characters all engaged in that same perverse mixture of luxury, reverie, damnation, in the landscape of America. Somewhere on holiday under a vengeful sun.

The track’s cool video features a puppet created by puppeteer and fabricator Laura Manns (The Muppets and Sesame Street).

Enjoy… until next week.

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