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Hiatus Kaiyote: Silky-Smooth Future Soul

Watch the Australian band play "Nakamarra" and more in the Soundcheck studio.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote performs in the Soundcheck studio. Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote performs in the Soundcheck studio. (Michael Katzif / WNYC)

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Hiatus Kaiyote makes a sort of enigmatic, genre-defying music that the band calls "future soul": a fun blend of electronic sounds, African grooves, silky smooth neo-soul, and hip-hop beats. (Think Erykah Badu mixed with J Dilla mixed with Oumou Sangaré mixed with Flying Lotus.) 

The band formed in 2011, and after a ton of SXSW showcases, touring in the U.S., and even a guest spot at Brooklyn Bowl during Questlove’s DJ set, Hiatus Kaiyote self-released its debut Tawk Tomahawk in 2012 and re-released it this past July. The record is a progressive collection of R&B and jazz-infused songs -- like "Mobius Streak" and "Nakamarra" -- that showcases lovely instrumentation and singer Nai Palm's alluring, gorgeous voice soaring above the mix.

Hear the band perform songs from the album in the Soundcheck studio, and watch them playing "Nakamarra" below. 




Set List:

  • "Lace Skull"
  • "Nakamarra"
  • "Building A Ladder"


Hiatus Kaiyote

Comments [5]

station44025 from Los Angeles, CA, United States

Does anyone remember Jamiroquai, 4 Hero, Groove Collective, Repercussions, Jazzanova, Kyoto Jazz Mazzive, Brand New Heavies, Kosma, anything on Compost, Ninjatune, Giant Step, Strange Fruit, or any of the other music from the previous acid-jazz/future-jazz/future-soul/Giles Peterson movement from like 20 years ago? Then we can roll it back to Roy Ayers, rewind to Bitches Brew, Herbie Hancock, and on and on...

This music is beautiful, and it's all part of a continuum, but I have to roll my eyes a bit at the constant repackaging of stuff as new without any context. I have a lot of deeply funky records from the mid 90s that are as ill as or iller than this. These are not new experiments.

Nuff respect to Australia for cranking out tune after tune in the past couple of years though--It's getting to be that 80% of the new music I like ends up being from Melbourne or Sydney.

Jan. 05 2015 03:50 PM

Dear "go away". Several points.

1. All artists imitate other artists they like, connect with, enjoy, respect etc. Imitation of style and performing Karaoke are not actually the same thing. You may light to consult your dictionary on that one.
2. The USA exports its culture to the rest of the world via it's media. This is called "cultural traffic"; and yes - it extends as far as Australia and New Zealand. If you want to sell your media to us - don't be surprised if we draw inspiration from it.
3. Hiatus Kaiyote owes some of their recognition by US consumers to "black Americans" like Erykah Badu and Questlove (of the Roots), who caught on to them and promoted them via their social media.

Ironic isn't it?

Apr. 14 2014 10:24 AM
go away

why do WHITE people from Australia and New Zealand all try to sound Black American!!!! They give interviews in Aussie accents then put on a karaoke act on stage. Fcking sick!!!

Feb. 19 2014 11:56 PM
Frank from United States

Holy hell that song was good!

Nov. 07 2013 09:42 PM

I am a musician, and also perform in a variety of styles. I saw Hiatus Kaiyote perform Tuesday night, and they are fantastic.

Nov. 07 2013 09:39 AM

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