Sex & Food

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Sex and Food is the 4th studio album by American ​/ New Zealand band Unknown Mortal Orchestra ​ and their third with label, Jagjaguwar. [1] [2] ​ The album was released on April 6th, 2018. [3]

GIF from the music video for the song, "Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays".


After receiving a budget for his next record, Ruban Nielson ​ learned that he could do whatever he wanted after finding being inside of his home studio basement to be boring and difficult to do for a year and a half. [4] ​ He decided that he was going to travel to different destinations around the world for inspiration. Kody Nielson (Ruban's brother) and Jake Portrait ​ accompanied Ruban in his travels. [5] ​ They began to write the record at several studios around the world in places such as: Mexico City ​, South Korea, Auckland ​, Hanoi ​ and Reykjavík ​. [6]

Youtube Video
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - American Guilt (Official Video).


During the tour around the world to write the album, one of the artists Ruban continued to ponder about for inspiration is Jimmy Hendrix ​ and the things that he would be thinking about when he was a teenager. [7]

After spending time recording the album in New Zealand, he returned to his home in Portland ​. He would then travel and spend time in Iceland ​. [8] Ruban found the country to be the bizarro of New Zealand, which became another place of inspiration. [9]

Photo of Ruban Nielson that has been shared in several publications that have interviewed him about the record.

In South Korea, Ruban visited the DMZ as he considers it to be this era's version of the Berlin Wall ​. Artists such as David Bowie ​ and Iggy Pop ​ had recorded near the Berlin Wall earlier in their careers a a way to gather inspiration for the political climate of their times. [10] Ruban decided to seek the same in South Korea, and recorded near the DMZ at a K-pop studio that was nearby. [11] ​ While there, he and Korean musicians also collaborated. Ruban and Portrait met many people in during their time in Seoul. [12]

The thoughts of Hendrix returned for Ruban. He remembered the first time he heard music from the legendary guitarist was in a movie about the Vietnam war. [13] He learned that many of his favorite bands and music was somehow linked to the war. Ruban decided to travel to Hanoi to see what impact the  place would do. He spent a lot of time with Vietnamese musicians and collaborated with talented

GIF from the music video for the song, "Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays".

musicians. [14]

During the recording of the album in Mexico City ​, Ruban and Portrait were at a park when the earthquake took place and were stuck there for hours. After nearly an entire day of being stuck in the park with dozens of people, a volunteer screamed at the top of his lungs: "Viva Mexico!" which energized the people around them. The experience for Ruban and Portrait became highly inspirational and eye opening. [15]


Flier that was made for a performance of UMO's new record, Sex & Food.

Recording at studios around the world, Nielson returned to his guitar as the main instrument for writing the record, with the addition of other instruments in the recording process. The more he traveled, the more he rediscovered intimate notions from his favorite 1960s Psychedelic rock ​ bands and artists such as Hendrix. [16]


No. Title Writer(s) Co-producer(s) Length
1. "A God Called Hubris"
  • R. Nielson
  • Kody Nielson
K. Nielson 0:41
2. "Major League Chemicals" R. Nielson 3:53
3. "Ministry of Alienation" R. Nielson 3:43
4. "Hunnybee"
  • K. Nielson
  • Jacob Portrait
Portrait 4:28
5. "Chronos Feasts on His Children" R. Nielson 1:42
6. "American Guilt"
  • R. Nielson
  • K. Nielson
  • Portrait
7. "The Internet of Love (That Way)" R. Nielson 4:57
8. "Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays"
  • R. Nielson
  • K. Nielson
K. Nielson 4:15
9. "This Doomsday" R. Nielson 3:32
10. "How Many Zeros" R. Nielson
  • K. Nielson
  • Portrait
11. "Not in Love We're Just High" R. Nielson Portrait 3:38
12. "If You’re Going to Break Yourself" R. Nielson 4:38
Total length: 40:45 [17]
Items and other products from the Sex & Food.


  • Ruban Nielson – production, mixing; vocals (tracks 2–12), guitars (tracks 2, 4–10, 12), bass (tracks 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 12), Rhodes (tracks 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11), synthesizer (tracks 3, 4, 6, 8, 11), percussion (tracks 2, 6, 7), MPC (track 1), electric Sitar (track 3), piano (tracks 4), drones (track 6), drums (track 7), strings (track 9), HC-TT (track 12)
  • Kody Nielson ​– drums (tracks 1–4, 6, 8–12), synthesizer (tracks 8, 10), piano (track 1), percussion (track 8); co-production (tracks 1, 8, 10), additional engineering (track 2–4, 8)
  • Jacob Portrait ​ – bass (tracks 3, 4, 6, 12), synthesizer (tracks 2, 12); co-production (tracks 4, 10, 11), additional engineering (tracks 6, 12)
  • Naomi Win – violin (tracks 3, 4, 8)
  • Quincy McCrary – organ (track 2)
  • Chris Nielson – saxophone (track 3)
  • Bob Ludwig ​– mastering
  • Neil Krug – cover
  • Miles Johnson – layout [18]
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