Self-termed future soul band Hiatus Kaiyote -- akin to a progressive neo-soul group with a little left-of-center hip-hop production -- formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2011.
Fronted by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Nai Palm, the band also features bassist Paul Bender, drummer Perrin Moss, and keyboardist Simon Mavin (also of the Bamboos). They self-released their short debut album, Tawk Tomahawk, in 2012, and gradually won support from a wide swath of taste-making DJs (such as Gilles Peterson) and fellow artists (beginning with Taylor McFerrin and later including Questlove and Erykah Badu). The band signed to Salaam Remi's Sony-distributed Flying Buddha label and re-released Tawk Tomahawk with a bonus track -- a version of album highlight "Nakamarra" featuring a guest verse from Q-Tip. That track was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best R&B Performance. In late 2014, Hiatus Kaiyote released a three-track preview of their second album; the first, "By Fire," is a dizzying song partly inspired by the house-fire death of Palm's father. Choose Your Weapon, an expansive album twice the length of the band's debut, was issued on Flying Buddha in 2015 and debuted at number 11 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Recalibrations, Vol. 1, an EP of remixes with a contribution from McFerrin (assisted by Anderson Paak) followed in 2016. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi