Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Label: Fat Possum Records
No orchestra here: just one dude, New Zealand-bred Ruban Nielson, rocking retro in the Ariel Pink vein. After posting "FFunny FFriends" online, he quickly inked a deal with Fat Possum and released this 2011 debut. A swirling mix of psychedelic pop, Unknown Mortal Orchestra flows as effortlessly as blobs in a lava lamp. Nielson's voice almost comes off like a stoned Paul McCartney; his lo-fi guitar strikes carry hints of other Brit invaders like The Kinks and The Zombies, while Syd Barrett's distorted pop sense lingers. He even gets a little funky on "How Can You Luv Me."