One of the summer’s catchiest songs comes from a group with one of the worst band names in recent history. Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Ffunny Ffrends” is endlessly playable, with its funky beat, psychedelic rock nostalgia, and genuine simplicity. It’s a song that impresses without trying to impress. Nothing gets too complicated, from the repeating guitar hook to the verse-chorus-verse organization. The two-minute jam should be less memorable, but its so damn… smooth.
UMO popped up on a Bandcamp page about a year ago, and have since released an LP and will be touring this fall with Toro y Moi. Very little information is known about the band aside from the trio’s Portland origin, twitter account, and a few photos. Regardless, they sound like a mixture of Tame Impala and Harlem, if the fusion took a few bong rips (well, Tame Impala’s probably all set on that one) and used voice processors. “Ffunny Ffrends” includes spaced-out vocals that are almost indistinguishable from the guitar, as well as a choppy drum beat that keeps the head bobbing. This is one-song-playlist music as the song can be played on repeat: the repetitive groove is therapeutic. Their other songs are just as addicting, like the garage-shaking riff in “Nerve Damage!” and the bouncy “How Can U Luv Me” – which is destined to be in a cutesy clothing commercial.
July should not be a complicated month, and “Ffunny Ffrends” will keep things mellow and low key. Spelling shouldn’t matter in the summer! You can zone out to this type of music and do nothing for hours on end, and sometimes that’s the best way to spend a vacation.