Spell-binding Australian future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote describe themselves as “multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster stuff”. Redefining R&B with their influx of neo-soul and jazz-funk, Hiatus Kaiyote resist generic labels and defy expectation.
With just two albums under their belts, their sound is impressively expansive and equally magical. Their 2013 debut album Tawk Tomahawk is a beautiful introduction to the bands mastering of rhythm and lyricism, the two joining in a melting pot of sonic mysticism. The unforgettable track ‘Nakamarra’ from their debut album was nominated for Best R&B Performance at the Grammy’s in 2013, and only lost out to the equally captivating band Snarky Puppy. Other noteworthy tracks on Tawk Tomahawk is the eerily poetic ‘Malika’ and the jazz infused ‘The World It Softly Lulls’. Tawk Tomahawk paved the way for the bands second (and similarly mesmerising) 2015 album Choose Your Weapon, which features hypnotic tracks like ‘The Lung’ and ‘Laputa’.
If you can catch them on tour Hiatus Kaiyote are not to missed, honestly, I don’t feel like it’s far-fetched to say watching them live is bordering on some sort of spiritual experience. Their explorative and polyrhythmic sound along-side mesmerising visuals and the just as mesmerising and badass front-woman Nai Palm is an experience not easily forgotten.
Their shape-shifting sound has found resonance around the globe, Hiatus Kaiyote have been sampled by Anderson. Paak, Drake and self-proclaimed king of hip-hop Kendrick Lamar. The stand-out sample, for me, has to be Kendrick’s use of ‘Atari’ on track ‘Duckworth’ from DAMN. Nai Palm’s soulful voice, juxtaposed with Kendrick’s harsh lyricism, is a duo I now realise I’ve always needed in my life.
Currently Nai Palm is touring with her debut solo album Needle Paw an introspective and raw breaking down of the sound she’s cultivated with Hiatus Kaiyote. Hopefully though, a third Hiatus Kaiyote album is roaming around somewhere in the cosmos as we speak. Sit down, grab a cuppa and get lost in the soulful escapism of Hiatus Kaiyote.