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Hiatus Kaiyote - The Unique Soul Sound

By Marc Zisman |

Ten years on from their debut, Hiatus Kaiyote is still Australia's funkiest act. They're funky, but also supremely original.

The Melbourne quartet led by singer-guitarist Naomi "Nai Palm" Saalfield has always put out a very unique soul sound... It has been a six-year wait after their last album Choose Your Weapon (2015), as Nai Palm has been battling breast cancer. But despite this tense period, their star continued to rise, and their music has been copiously sampled by the Carters (Beyonce and Jay-Z), Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Chance The Rapper and Drake, who brought the singer onto Scorpion in 2018.

With Mood Valiant, Hiatus Kaiyote are still making bizarre-o funk (which is no surprise, given that they are signed with Flying Lotus's label Brainfeeder) and lo-fi nu soul. And when they get going on this new record, their originality becomes all the more striking. Take, for example, Get Sun, the flagship single from this third album, for which they invited the old Brazilian master Arthur Verocai, who lends them his arrangements and strings.

This is a magical guest appearance: a cherry on top of a soulful cake, flavoured with a yearning for freedom.


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