You may not know who Clever Austin is at first, but if you are a fan of Hiatus Kaiyote, you are familiar with the drumming and production of Perrin Moss. On the side, he also likes to create as Clever Austin, so now you know. When the Kaiyote aren’t doing their thing, Clever Austin likes to go deep with his own music, and Hide-Away Headshell is a street album allowing fans to hear what is coming from his mind into the speakers. Consider it a component of the Kaiyote that also represents itself on its own, for itself. Three tracks on this, each one a collage of different sounds, influences from many sources. Please enter and make yourself comfortable.
In March, an Australian collective of artists, spearheaded by Hiatus Kaiyote, released a compilation freebie called Wondercore Island. Six months later, the collective have returned with the second installment. For the first volume, I stated the music “comes from Australia and a community of artists who want to help each other to get their music to people around the world.” and that certainly applies here, allowing everyone to be heard through music, love, and connections. Expanding the family a bit, you have American artist Miles Bonny getting smoothed out as he always does, but the rest of the album is quite good, giving full access to the small dose of what’s happening in Australia, which in effect has an effect not only around the Pacific Rim, but around the world.
The 18-track album is available for free via Bandcamp in the digital formats that matter, so get to it and enjoy it in full, and repeatedly.
Look into the eyes of The Cat Empire. LOOK INTO THE EYES OF THE C…
Okay, maybe that’s not a good way to start this, so let’s try again.
From Melbourne, Australia comes The Cat Empire, and they will be coming across the Pacific to play North America in June and July in support of their Steal The Light album, to be released on May 17th by the band on their own Two Shoes label. If the summer is going to be a hot one, make it hotter with these Aussies.
June 27… Washington, DC (Fillmore)
June 28… Philadelphia, PA (World Cafe Live)
June 29… New York, NY (Best Buy Theatre)
June 30… Boston, MA (House of Blues)
July 9… Cleveland, OH (Beachland Ballroom)
July 10… Chicago, IL (House of Blues)
July 11… Minneapolis, MN (Cedar Culture Center)
July 23… Seattle, WA (Neumos)
July 24… Portland, OR (Doug Fir Lounge)
These dates are part of a world tour that will also bring them through Europe, where they will be joined by fellow Austraians, FLAP!. Australian shows will feature Hiatus Kaiyote, so those shows should be a blast. For a look at those dates, head to TheCatEmpire.com for more information.
Coming from Australia is a brand new street album called Wondercore Island Mixtape #1, and if the “#1” portion is a hint of what’s to come, I’m all for it. It comes from Australia and a community of artists who want to help each other to get their music to people around the world. While Hiatus Kaiyote may be the one name people will recognize, you’ll also want to check out the likes of Bendaur, Georgia Potter, Killbot Kindergarten, Superfeather, S i l e n t j a y, and Laneous & The Family Yah. All good artists creating great music, you are sure to find the next wave of Australian creativity on this one, representing the “now” wave. Get on it.
For this video, Hiatus Kaiyote vocalist Nai Palm handles “Malika” on her own with nothing but her voice and an electric guitar. It was recorded on the spot in New York City at The Breeding Ground.
Earlier this year, Cosmodrome
vocalist Madison McFerrin offered a suggestion for me to check out Hiatus Kaiyote, and I did. Since then, the buzz for the group and its vocalist, Nai Palm, has continued to grow, with Hiatus Kaiyote finding themselves getting shoutouts from various musicians, bands, and MC’s. Miss Palm often does shows in a solo context, and here she does an acoustic cover of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour”, taken from a performance last night at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. The crowd goes nuts and decide to help her out in a sing-along.
When this was suggested to me by someone, I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than that if it was given a thumbs up by someone, and they were moved enough to recommend it to me, I should like it.
This went beyond a simple “like”.
The music by Melbourne, Australia’s Hiatus Kaiyote balances on that thin line of any genre you want to coem up with upon listening, and wipes it away with every note. In this case, it’s a mixture of soul, funk, and disco mixed in with electronic touches. Within acoustic guitar touches and atmospheric backgrounds are hints of minimalism, so on one end I could hear hints of Jazzanova, Can, and Jaza Jazzist, on the other end I hear gentle kisses from the influence of Erykah Badu, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Res. There are also some Latin and jazz vibes here too, and while I could spend a lot of time analyzing every second of this album, referring to the careful-but-powerful use of loops, echoes, and reverb, but… it’s a bit similar to hearing all of this great music throughout your life, hearing a band that plays some of your favorite songs but them knowing what sounds you should be hearing. The raspiness of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Nai Palm shows she and they are not afraid to get ready or be too smooth, adding a perceived flaw into something that may be mechanic but somehow sounds organic. At any given moment, Hiatus Kaiyoke may switch vibe and you can’t help yourself but go along for their adventurous musical ride.
Tawk Tomahawk is “album length”, although if you remove the songs that are under two minutes, it makes for a fine EP. I love how they explore and get thematic in “Mobius Streak” and “Lace Skull”, but I look forward to the future in case they decide to explore even further and deeper by creating songs longer than 8 or 9 minutes. I want more.
(Mahalo nui to Madison McFerrin for the Hiatus Kaiyote recommendation.)