The first time I saw Hiatus Kaiyote was at the Nice Jazz Festival last summer, performing after Ibeyi, to a crowd of barely 50 that was peppered with empty spots– that was not the scene before me on August 1st at the Paradise Rock Club.
On a Monday night, as I approached the venue, it was evident that a mass of people were wrapped around the corner– I already knew that the show was going to be incredible. Just like in Nice, Hiatus Kaiyote did not fail to inspire the crowd. The fluidity and impeccable beauty of Nai Palm’s voice is only elevated live, along with the oozing talent of the three other band members: Perrin Moss (drums), Paul Bender (bass), and Simon Mavin (synth). Each of them build off each other to create the magnanimous, electric beast that is their sound, which “neo-soul” does not even begin to define.
Blessed with their sound, the crowd remained fluorescent the entire night, exploding for “The World It Softly Lulls,” and Grammy-nominated, “Nakamarra,”– And of course, when they teased us with a listen to 2 unrecorded songs (no names were mentioned), leaving the crowd with blue balls for a new album.
Even so, I was overwhelmed with satisfaction from their performances from previous albums, “Tawk Tomahawk” and “Choose Your Weapon.” Although each album delves into a plethora of different themes, Hiatus Kaiyote manages to uphold an impressive cohesion, (which as Nai Palm has addressed in past interviews) borne from the holy, other-worldly union of 4 incredibly talented humans.
Now, I’m left waiting for the next time Hiatus Kaiyote can grace me and Boston with their presence.