Hiatus Kaiyote

When it comes down to actually reviewing a band like Hiatus Kaiyote you can’t help but go mute and ogle at their bizarre brilliance. This future soul group from Australia has taken the listening experience to a totally different level. You could probably describe them as a mix between Little Dragon, Erykah Badu and a well seasoned Jazz band. Soul Bounce describes them perfectly: Their songs take you on a ride; they have supreme highs, delicate lows and can be downright dirty and dramatic at times, which just makes you love them that little bit more.

The thing about listening to entire albums these days is the fact that not many musicians see it as a whole. Hiatus on the other hand has designed an album you will want to listen to straight through. Each song flows into the next almost like its telling you a story. The technicality of it all will never let you tire for every time you listen you catch on to something different. Nai Palms almost old school Billie Holiday like vocals work beautifully with her band mates Perrin Moss, Paul Bender and Simon Mavins complicated and heavily textured sound.

Most times nothing good ever comes out of postponing blog posts. For a while it was because I wanted the band to be my little secret(ridiculous i know) but one thing led to another and the post stayed in my drafts for almost four months. It wasn’t until by some freak chance they agreed to answer some questions for the post that I realized it was high time. So here it is, the first of hopefully many more interviews to come Hiatus Kaiyote for sideways to sound.

Every one in your band has their roots in a different genre of music how do you all pull it together to make what you call “future soul”? Was it hard?
It’s a natural progression and it’s rewarding and a pleasure to nerd out on what each other listen to.
There’s a lot of work, but it’s pleasurable work, challenging but rewarding, so not necessarily hard.

What was it like when you first got together and jammed as a band?
We tried working with other musicians and it was emotionally painful because they were work-shopping my already written songs, and with the band now, when they got together it was like a natural extension, it was a relief.

How does it work when you begin creating a song? Do you work your way up from a melody or does it evolve while you jam?
Both. It’s a combination of either I’ve written entire songs and we work on the details or separate sections or it derives from one time signature idea, but really there’s no process for our writing, each song is an experiment.

Nai Palm: Do your lyrics draw from the Aboriginal traditions?
Not specifically, but I definitely draw inspiration from my connection to nature and the land here, not in a traditional sense but my own perspective.

Did living in warehouse communities inspire the way you write and create music?
If it did can you tell me how it did so?
The thing about living in a warehouse is you build your room from scratch, so your room, your habitat is a direct representation of who you are. You are creating your life around you, and creating your physical environment too, it’s like that with songwriting and building sonic environments too, I’ve never thought about it but there’s definite affects of the type and times I’ve spent with all the people I’ve live with and been involved with.

It’s amazing every time I listen to your tracks i’m always picking up something new in the background. How does this translate when you perform live? Do you have different versions?
The production element is pretty much all there, triggered laptops etc
But sections of songs are open for improvisation.

You can listen to their album below and if you like what you’re listening to 10 dollars is nothing. For us Indian folk you can pay through paypal. If you don’t have it it doesn’t take too long to set up!



  1. Aarudra

    I know the feeling (I felt it was my little secret too!) Great to know the band is finally getting global recognition. Excellent article.

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