Hiatus Kaiyote – By Fire (2014)


Imagine you’re in a coffee shop. Now imagine the year is 2030. Now imagine that you’re in a coffee shop in the year 2030, with neon smoke beams and a virtual reality arcade. If you were at this café, chances are Hiatus Kaiyote would be playing and melting faces, literally and figuratively.

Hailing from the ever progressive city of Melbourne, Hiatus Kaiyote brings a whole lot of soul from the land down below with their new EP By Fire, a small sample of their future release Choose Your Weapon coming out this March. The quartet incorporates syncopated neo-soul guitar and bass polyrhythms with 8-bit synth timbres and chopped vocals. Not to mention, before you know it, a hip-hop infused break-beat slaps you straight across the face. This is more than just fusion; its jazz-synthesis.

The first self-titled track off of this EP kicks off like a palpitated heartbeat, followed by a one-two punch of hip hop. Not even seconds after, vocalist/guitarist Nai Palm (Naomi Saalfield) transitions into singing with the perfect neo-soul tone with jazzy drum licks and a catchy synth dance performance. Next comes ‘Laputa’ which can be best described as a futuristic hip-hop trance. Nai’s vocal delivery on this track dances between robotic and buttery-smooth. Her choice in delivery adds a significant percussive aspect to the track. Lastly is ‘Molases’, the most true-to-soul song of the three. Complex but relaxing, this track feels like warm chicken soup spiced up ever so tastefully.

In summation, By Fire is nothing short of explosive. After listening to the album blow by blow, the name suits this three song collection perfectly.

File Under

Progressive, jazz, fusion, dance, soul

Sounds A Tad Like

The Mars Volta, Erykah Badu, BADBADNOTGOOD


$6.57 via iTunes, $1.29 per track at Amazon


Melbourne, Australia