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Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote mix R&B, jazz, and hip-hop with intricate and progressive flair. The Australian band's dynamic fusion of left-field sounds has been set further apart by the raspy yet graceful vocals of Nai Palm, a poetic songwriter who has drawn inspiration from animated fantasy films and nature while articulating a broad spectrum of emotions with imaginative metaphors. Each one of their first two albums, Tawk Tomahawk (2012) and Choose Your Weapon (2015), features a Grammy-nominated recording, namely "Nakamarra" and "Breathing Underwater," while the latter LP was nominated for an ARIA award in the category of Best Urban Album. They reconvened after assorted side projects to make the Brainfeeder recording Mood Valiant (2021). A number four hit in their home country, it went on to be nominated for Best Progressive R&B Album at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. They've since returned with the joyous single "Everything's Beautiful" (2024). Formed in Melbourne in 2011, Hiatus Kaiyote consists of singer/songwriter and guitarist Palm, bassist Paul Bender, drummer Perrin Moss (aka Clever Austin), and keyboardist Simon Mavin (also of the PutBacks). They self-released their brief debut album, Tawk Tomahawk, in 2012, and gradually won support from taste-making DJs and fellow artists ranging from Gilles Peterson to Questlove and Erykah Badu. The band signed with Salaam Remi's Sony-distributed Flying Buddha label in the U.S. and re-released Tawk Tomahawk with a bonus cut, a version of album highlight "Nakamarra" enhanced by a Q-Tip guest verse. That track earned the band their first Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance. In late 2014, they released a three-track teaser for their second album, led by the dizzying "By Fire," partly inspired by the house-fire death of Palm's father. Its expansive parent album, Choose Your Weapon was issued in 2015, entered the ARIA chart at number 22, and debuted at number 11 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in the U.S. The single "Breathing Underwater" was up for that year's Best R&B Performance Grammy award, while Choose Your Weapon was ARIA-nominated for Best Urban Album. Over the next several years, the band issued supplemental material such as the Recalibrations, Vol. 1 EP, and were credited as a unit on Robert Glasper's Everything's Beautiful, Shafiq Husayn's The Loop, and Cornelius' Ripple Waves. They were more often involved with a variety of side and solo recordings and production work. Most notably, Palm released Needle Paw, her first solo album; Moss devoted more time to alter ego Clever Austin, and Bender and Mavin recorded as two-thirds of the Sweet Enoughs. Additionally, Moss, Bender, and Mavin made a mixtape under the name Swooping. Toward the end of 2020, HK issued a version of "Christmas Time Is Here," and in early 2021 made a more formal return on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label with "Get Sun," a collaboration with revered Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai. Mood Valiant, the band's third album, was released that June. The set, much of which was written while Palm was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, entered the Australian chart at number four and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Progressive R&B Album.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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