Following their acclaimed debut album ‘Tawk Tomahawk’ Australian Electronic Neo-Soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote release a more focused and refined sophomore album. ‘Tawk’ mostly served as an EP and introduction to the newly formed band, still feeling their way toward a precise sound, it seems now that they have chosen their weapon of choice with the new LP “Choose Your Weapon”. An authentic amalgamation of an array of art forms, the band has skillfully combined all their influences into a unique sound of their own.
(Hiatus Kaiyote perform “By Fire” on Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Hip-Hop, Soul, R&B, and Jazz seamlessly mix with un-quantized electronic rhythms and mystical choruses. Lead vocalist Nai Palm at times sings as if her vocals were chopped and sampled by Hip Hop producer J Dilla or Flying Lotus, hitting each new beat as soulful and powerful as can be. Most tracks are constructed in non-linear ways, lyrically and structurally, standard pop radio cookie cutter format is thrown out the window with this LP in return the band presses the listener to keep up with songs and melodies that are constantly changing and evolving. Every track is a journey that can only truly be appreciated through replay and repetition. Time signatures change and stutter creating a unique sonic hook that grows with each listen. Lyrically this album is very cryptic and song titles read as chapters in a science fiction novel. Messages of love and unity ring out throughout songs on “Choose Your Weapon”. Perhaps the message of unity is most noticeable toward the end of the album when an actual owl stops by and lends his/her vocals to a track.
“Choose Your Weapon” is a great LP and true piece of art that continues to grow with each listen, opening up and revealing something new with each spin. With a band as eclectic as Hiatus Kaiyote, with so many influences to pull from it will be interesting to see which weapon they choose next.