Hiatus Kaiyote came blaring into last night’s Apogee Studios with fierce energy and artistry packed with a musical punch. The Melbourne band performed songs from their sophomore release Choose Your Weapon, which included an encore performance of their Grammy-nominated single “Nakamarra.”
Watching this band switch up tempos and time signatures, it’s clear each one of the members is a master of their craft. I purposely positioned myself in the front to watch their eye contact during their performance – It was almost like watching friends complete each other’s sentence. Nai Palm (vocalist) shines with her voice, which channels so many different spirits and energies while she plucks the guitar.
As they shared stories with KCRW’s host for the evening, DJ Aaron Byrd, it was intriguing to hear how much nature has influenced their songwriting. Nai told a story in which an owl inspired one of the interludes on the album. Paul Bender (bassist) proceeded to record a moment between the owl making noises and Nai playing along in tune with the hooting. Nai also spoke of a moment when filming a video in an Australian desert, where she had an encounter with a hawk she dreamt of the night prior. She began to sing to it as it hovered above. It is evident that nature, the desert and environment is a key driver of their sound.
Watching this band is a breath of fresh air. As musicians, they challenge you to switch up what is normal and instead embrace the funk mixed elements of jazz, soul and R&B. Watching Hiatus Kaiyote it is evident they will continue to push new ideas and sounds that are unlike anything today through their unique artistry.