Hiatus Kaiyote Flatline New York City With Eclectic Soul Vibes
With winter whispering close behind us, the world of music has been cranking out as many shows as humanly possible. This past weekend, we were absolutely delighted to attend one of the best musical events of the fall - a three-night tour run of Australia's rising Hiatus Kaiyote. If you're unfamiliar with this gritty, groovy psych-soul band, they first rose to the scene in 2012 with their debut album Tawk Tomahawk, which rapidly and effortlessly captivated lovers of soul from all over the globe. Just a few short years later, their second album, Choose Your Weapon released via Flying Buddha, causing somewhat of an audial earthquake and a major splash in creating a new, very distinctive sound that is also clearly influenced by some of music's supremes like Billie Holiday, D'Angelo, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Bjork.
The night was cold but the energy of excitement in Brooklyn Bowl warmed the atmosphere - the spacious, light-filled venue with a signature, giant disco ball and bowling lanes was buzzing with a community of people who were there for one reason - the absolute love and passion for Hiatus Kaiyote.
After a super funky set from DJ Spinna, Nai Palm strutted out onto the stage sporting a backwards cap and some seriously glittery fashions. The energy that the crowd deeply resonated the moment this quartet stepped on stage was felt instantly - absolute bliss. To start their set was, (rightfully so), the first track off their new record - self-titled Choose Your Weapon - that has a pre-cinematic, ambient feel. It began things in the most beautiful, joyful way possible.
Once the shock of the audience started to get comfortable, Hiatus played out a few favorites, including "Breathing Underwater", "Atari", "Jekyll", "By Fire", "Swamp Thing" and, of course, the best-known "Nakamarra".
How are you supposed to use the bathroom or refill your drink when there's such a captivating, thought-provoking band on stage? We had issues with this.. In an awe-struck state, Nai Palm fronted the band as they performed a collection of recognizable tracks while mixing in improvisation throughout. The beauty of live music lies in the spontaneity of the musicians. The ad-libbing, if you will. Hiatus Kaiyote will serve you just that. With Perrin Moss creating mind bending drum patterns (while also showing that he can definitely stay in the pocket that neo-soul calls for) and Paul Bender being one of the most amusing stage performers and dirtiest bass players in the game, the sounds coming from this concert were unfathomably complex and downright dazzling.
Brooklyn Bowl's blue, green and red strobes set the physical tone as the group's pianist Simon Mavin serenaded NYC's fans with audial dessert. We're still trying to figure out how Simon's brain thinks as fast as his fingers glide across the keyboard - but we'll let it happen either way. Lush sounds of Rhodes vibrated throughout the open room while everyone was unable to stand still. The groove is unstoppable.
If you were unable to make it to Hiatus Kaiyote's American stop, we encourage you to plan ahead and absorb yourself in the journey this progressive, magnificently tight group brings to the table. But, for now, you can grab their music on iTunes or stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, and plenty other platforms. We sure did!