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At the helm of Unknown Mortal Orchestra is Ruban Nielson, a Portland, Ore., resident originally from New Zealand. He says that UMO's most recent album, Multi-Love, was inspired by the true story of a polyamorous relationship into which he entered with his wife and another woman.
Nielson, who normally favors a synth-heavy sound, visited World Cafe's studio to perform a rare acoustic session including songs from Multi-Love. "[The songs] usually start out pretty stripped-back like this," he says. Hear the session — a universal favorite among the World Cafe staff — at the audio link above and watch a video of "Necessary Evil" below.