NPR picks up on new triad-inspired album *Multi-Love*
This morning I posted about Ruban Nielson's album Multi-Love and its origin in the bedazzling triad that fate delivered him into. The album will be officially released next Tuesday, May 26, though you can stream it from various sites now.
This isn't just another Portland indie record for some small fanbase. It just received an excellent review on National Public Radio and notice on the website of The Guardian, one of the world's major newspapers.
● On NPR:
First Listen: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, 'Multi-Love'
Ruban Nielson (left) with other band members. (Photo: Dusdin Condren)
By Andy Beta
In 1967, while still in The Byrds, David Crosby wrote "Triad" about a ménage a trois, inspired by the counterculture notion of "free love." It was left off the band's next album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, and became a point of contention when Crosby left the band. Recorded by Jefferson Airplane and performed later by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the song scans as overly simplistic at its chorus: "I don't really see / why can't we go on as three."
To hear New Zealand native and Portland resident Ruban Nielson sing it in "Multi-Love," the lead song on Unknown Mortal Orchestra's third album, said triad is decidedly more confusing, thorny and wrenching. Nielson's falsetto frays into a rasp and plea: "Multi-love got me on my knee / We were one then become three / Mama, what have you done to poor me / Now I'm half-crazy." Polyamory, which translates from Greek and Latin as "multi-love," lies at the heart of Nielson's album, documenting a moment in his life wherein his longtime marriage found itself opened to an outsider. Ecstatic and graceless, loving yet threatened, comforted yet alienated, Nielson explores these complex interactions on his strongest album to date.
Names aren't named, but the intimacy, awkwardness and emotional nakedness on display might have been hard to take were they not wrapped in the sweetest, catchiest, most impeccably crafted music Unknown Mortal Orchestra has made....
Previous UMO albums wandered into strange psychedelia and folk as ways into Nielson's mindstate.... But on Multi-Love, such foggy, wandering sounds wouldn't serve these songs about love and the emotional maturity needed to navigate it....
Read the whole review (May 17, 2015). At the top of it are links to the whole album (41 minutes) and the individual tracks.
● At The Guardian's online music section:
Unknown Mortal Orchestra — Multi-Love: Exclusive album stream
For Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album, bandleader Ruban Nielson decided to do things a bit differently. We’re not just talking about the music... we’re talking about the relationship that inspired it — during the making of the album, Nielson and his wife both fell in love with another woman, who moved in with the couple before leaving them both confused and heartbroken.
That unique experience is poured into Multi-Love, only to be decorated with a futurist, technicolour pop palette. Have a listen, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The original (May 18). Listen and leave a comment.
● Spin commentary, followed by a brief interview:
The title of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest LP, Multi-Love, may be an explicit reference to the complicated three-person live-in relationship frontman Ruban Nielson spent a year exploring, but it could just as easily be a reference to the album’s lush, layered sound. Appropriate to its name, UMO’s third album is bursting with affection for a variety of musics, both past and present: disco, power pop, prog-rock, hip-hop, and soul all among them....
Read on (May 14).