Ever since they first emerged with their breakthrough self-titled debut LP in 2011, Unknown Mortal Orchestra have always been one of the more enigmatic names on the international psych-rock scene. While very much filling all the conventional aesthetics of what a psychedelic band is supposed to be, they have always had this more adventurous edge to their sound, something that has seen them breakaway from their contemporaries and carve a new path for them to explore. And after a flurry of smaller EP releases since their stunning 2018 full-length 'Sex & Food', they return with their fifth studio album 'V', a record that looks to broaden their musical horizons even further.
Billed as a double LP, 'V''s one-hour runtime gives it plenty of explorative avenues in which to venture down. Now seen as an extension of bandleader Ruban Nielson's own innovative ambitions, Unknown Mortal Orchestra seem to be pursuing a more atmospheric direction this time around. While the release still has its fair share of bright and euphoric entries, much of this new collection is about creating a beautifully alluring texture that effortlessly glides in and out of its tracklist to create an almost never-ending dreamlike state that always looks to lure you towards it.
While it may be a step away from what they first began to hone for themselves, 'V' still makes for a wonderfully rich and interesting listen. With such a fresh and progressive approach to its songwriting and production throughout, it is possibly one of their most endearing efforts to date.