There are only a few things in life that are guaranteed. On that short list of life’s promises, taxes, death, and a mega-Christmas mix from the New Zealand psychedelic rock band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO). While many music lovers reach for the ‘Queen of Christmas‘ Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” others unlocked their holiday spirit by journeying down the rabbit hole of indie rock. That’s where UMO comes into play.
Comprised of guitarist Ruban Nielson, bassist Jake Portrait, and drummer Kody Nielson, UMO’s annual Christmas mega-mix tradition is slowly becoming a staple in indie rock. Last year, the group delivered “SB-09,” a tame borderline lo-fi instrumental. However, this year, on “SB-10,” pulled out all the stops for the 42-minute jam session.
The song is a trippy sonic journey through the elements in which the listener aimlessly wonders. From soft rock, indie, and EDM, to experimental, “SB-10” has a little bit of everything for everybody. There aren’t many songs you can name that feature both a synthesizer and a maraca. Without missing a beat, guitarist Ruban leads bassist Jake to push their instruments to the outskirts of each explored genre as Kody anchors the group firmly down in rock music’s steady passing.
While other musicians are set on being rigid about preserving a genre’s purity, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s ambient-like fluidity on “SB-10” has just consciously or unconsciously propelled rock into the future.
Listen to the whole track below.