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Song of the day – 415: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra

They seem like hipsters to me (without any added pejorative). Would that be correct?

It’s interesting I leap to this conclusion. I hadn’t heard of this band until someone tipped me off to them yesterday on Twitter. I’ve watched precisely two-and-half videos, noted the unshaven cheeks of the singer and the chic geek spectacles, the careful assimilation of decoded dance beats and softened vocals, the superficial similarities towards psychedelic dance benchmarks such as The Flaming Lips (a while back) and MGMT, the reliance upon half-echoed children’s TV programmes, the falsetto voices, and immediately thought that UMO must be hipsters. Does it put me off? Yes, a little – otherwise I wouldn’t be mentioning it. We don’t really do hipsters in Brisbane: the closest we come here is something like Epithets, and they’re still rooted in Chicago ’98. (Maybe all hipsters are?) No. It does make me a little wary, though – like their music is little substance and all Vice-pleasing chord progressions, plus a belief that the only way to behave is post-Pavement diffident, that adding in uncensored enthusiasm would let the mask slip too greatly. They’ve got that whole white-boy Har Mar Superstar funk pastiche thing going on, and I’ve never been sure about that, no disrespect to Har Mar intended. (It’s a bit too Supertramp for my tastes.) And they probably listen to Television Personalities because they think they ought to, not because they can be undiluted genius.

But I like this Tweet of theirs, so clearly they have the ability to laugh at others if not themselves.

It’s great to see Rolling Stone giving the Beatles a leg up. Such an underrated band

Does it matter if the sound is built upon flimsy foundations? (I’m not saying it is, mind.) What matters far more is that their sound pleases me, diverts me, uplifts me, makes me experience a slightly altered state of consciousness. This, it does. Let’s leave the taste making to those with get-rich plans to follow through. We’re here to enjoy ourselves.

And I could have got everything wrong.

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