Ruban Nielson really puts some stank on "American Guilt," which, if you're going to call your new album Sex & Food, maybe is a requirement. The last we heard from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Nielson delicately and joyously navigated the complexities of polyamory in Multi-Love with psychedelic soul and disco. On "American Guilt" — out today with a strikingly animated video that pans across sundry, blood-soaked detritus of American excess — he treats some of his idiosyncratic weirdness with a bluesy fuzz.
Nielson writes in a press release that the fuzz reflects a world in turmoil:
"American Guilt" is an attempt to capture some of the feelings floating around these days. In a perverse way I wanted to embrace this abandoned genre of rock music that I keep reading is "dead" and invite people to hear what this living dead genre sounds like in the UMO universe. It was recorded in Hanoi, Vietnam during monsoon season in a studio built for traditional Vietnamese music. Additional recording was done in Mexico City but our sessions were interrupted by one of the devastating earthquakes that occurred there last year. As we slept in the Parque de Mexico, unable to get back to our Airbnb, we heard a man yell "viva la Mexico!" and I put this in the song out of respect for them.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra starts a U.S. tour on April 22. Sex & Food comes out April 6 via Jagjaguwar. Track list below:
1. A God Called Hubris
2. Major League Chemicals
3. Ministry of Alienation
5. Chronos Feasts on His Children
6. American Guilt
7. The Internet of Love That Way
8. Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays
9. This Doomsday
10. How Many Zeroes
11. Not in Love We're Just High
12. If You're Going to Break Yourself