Hiatus Kaiyote – Breathing Underwater

The first minute my attention was already caught by the name Hiatus Kaiyote, of this band from Melbourne. And then my eyes were captured by the vocalist Naiomi Palm with her funky outfit and really artistic tattoos all over her hands, arms, and yes that tattoo of this line on her jaw too. I knew I have to discover more….

Next thing I know,  I haven’t stopped playing their music on my player ever since. Each instrument in their music plays a significant role. They are so strong that even if you’re hearing them separately you will find each has its own life. And when they amazingly juxtapose seamlessly and elusively to form these multiple layers, it is just extraordinary.

With a mix of inspiration from jazz, funk, soul and R&B, what seems to be fundamental is incredibly phenomenal with the connection and equilibrium of their sound.

Nai’s gritty rhythmic singing and her energy is simply otherworldly – she could possibly be my next favourite female singer after the late Amy Winehouse. Then of course, Perrin’s drumming with the polyrhythms is totally fascinating for me.

When people come together from different roots, they don’t necessarily need to conform to the rest, but rather they can bring in their own freedom of creativity into the space. With the most honest interaction and openness, Hiatus Kaiyote creates this atmospheric soundscape, which to me, feels almost like when you’re in a vast desert by yourself, not knowing the destination but you know you’ll get there. Digging in their second album Choose Your Weapon, I could find endless surprises and imagination.

“I want you to breathe it in.. the words hate.. in water” …. Perhaps we can really find our love outside of romanticism. And the only direction possible is to keep moving.


“We are here to experience, adapt and evolve”- Nai Palm.


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