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Searching for Sounds: How To Get Into Hiatus Kaiyote

Polyrhythmic future soul? Hard to describe? Listening might be the only way into this Australian band.

College Media Network Searching for Sounds: How To Get Into Hiatus KaiyoteWhile a lot of the music on Bandcamp is hit or miss, the platform provides aspiring musicians an opportunity to get their foot in the door of the music industry. This was definitely the case for the self-described “multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster shit” band that is Hiatus Kaiyote.

Before lead singer and guitarist Nai Palm’s vocals were featured on Drake’s “More Life” and “Scorpion,” the band was already destined to influence listeners with “future soul,” another term the band coined to describe their sound. With just two albums released so far, the band is cementing themselves as groundbreaking artists that can fill any musical space.

Hiatus Kaiyote is comprised of four members including front woman Nai Palm, percussionist Perrin Moss, Bassist Paul Bender, and Keyboardist Simon Malvin.

The Melbourne, Australia based band is inspired by a wide variety of music. Each member of Hiatus Kaiyote has a passion for producing music, both as a group and individually.

Tawk Tomahawk and Choose Your Weapon were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively, both spawning singles that were nominated for Best R&B Performance at the Grammys.

College Media Network Searching for Sounds: How To Get Into Hiatus Kaiyote

Palm’s solo project — Needle Paw, which dropped last year — was loosely based on acoustic versions of both old and new recordings.

The gentleman in the band perform as a jazz trio called Swooping Duck in addition to their work for Hiatus Kaiyote.

It is hard to describe Hiatus Kaiyote’s sound, at least to Palm’s liking. As she explained in an interview with Acclaim Magazine, they “are not massive on genre.” The band manages to be inspiring without overpowering, and present mix of groovy-ass, syncopated harmonic soulful work that can only be understood by listening.

Below is a playlist of songs that are representative of the Hiatus sound: infectious and pushing limits.


If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

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