The Australian 4-piece wondercore band is added to Flying Lotus' BRAINFEEDER label roster and announce new album Mood Valiant to be released in June.
The Melbourne-based quartet Hiatus Kaiyote have been expanding lots of minds with their all-encompassing genre-bending music and changed how many musicians approach their writing structure. Let's take it back for a sec and see how they've attained that position:
In 2012 'Nakamarra' was the first released single of their debut album Tawk Tomahawk and immediately caught attention worldwide and gave them a Grammy nomination. Among the first wave of fans were people like Taylor McFerrin, Q-Tip, Erykah Badu, Questlove, Gilles Peterson and even Prince! Story goes that The Purple One went to one of their shows and invited them to come jam at his place afterwards, which they had to turn down because of the busy tour schedule.. Can you imagine the feeling?
Their 2015 sophomore album Choose Your Weapon took it up a notch and has changed the musical landscape in my opinion. The sonic growth on there was astounding. Highly detailed compositions, constant rhythmic switch-ups, surprising key changes and an on-going intense adventure, while still making it feel natural is an absolute art and they've mastered it.
Since then there have been bands popping up from all over the globe that play in a similar 'style'. But what style is that? When they first came on the scene they were categorised as 'future soul' and then shortly after they themselves coined it "multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster shit". Which is a pretty accurate description of their sound but was still a little too long. Then they started using the term "wondercore", which I really like and will start using to describe the style from now on. Every tune floats on a certain sense of wonder and curiosity, it's always a full-on journey and experience for all the senses.
Take the Grammy-nominated 'Breathing Underwater' as example, one of my favourites on the 2nd album and, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest songs of the past decade.
Choose Your Weapon received universal acclaim and got picked as one of the top albums that year by many. Personally I rate it as one of the most important albums of our time, just like what a Voodoo by D'Angelo did to that time and the inspiration it brought to many in the years to follow. Hiatus Kaiyote's influence also became evident when artists like Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and even The Carters (Beyonce & Jay-Z) started sampling them. They're on everyones radar and the world has been patiently waiting for new music. Which was planned to arrive earlier but in 2018 a breast cancer diagnose for front woman Nai Palm halted everything. She had to undergo surgery and took time to properly recover before continuing the writing process. Thankfully she came back stronger than ever and with new perspectives on life. It is clear that their forthcoming third album will only take it further and raise the bar once more.
To see the legendary 75-year-old Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai featured on the first single 'Get Sun' is a wet-dream-come-true. Verocai is a true mastermind and his arrangements have been enriching a lot of Brazilian artists since the late 60s till today. But it was the 1972 released self-titled album that attained real cult status throughout the years among DJs, collectors, producers & music enthusiasts. It's an experimental masterpiece of an album that truly transcends all genres and time. Famously sampled by MF DOOM, Little Brother, Ludacris, Curren$y, GoldLink, Dr. Who Dat, Ras G, Madlib & others.
The Beat Konducta himself even said this about it:
“I could listen to the (Arthur Verocai) album everyday for the rest of my life,”- Madlib
Arthur's timeless 70s album isn't the only release under his own name though. He dropped a more bossa nova-like album in 2002, then a collab with Azymuth & Ivan Lins in 2007 and the fantastic No Voo Do Urubu in 2016 featuring modern-day Brazilian artists like Seu Jorge. One of my favourites on there is the instrumental composition 'Snake Eyes', a real beautiful and authentic Verocai-themed piece.
It was only yesterday that the good news arrived of Hiatus Kaiyote's signing to the forward-thinking LA-based label BRAINFEEDER, founded by Flying Lotus in 2008. Which looks like a perfect home for them next to like-minded artists like Thundercat and Kamasi Washington. Todays announcement of their third album Mood Valiant is definitely an uplifting mood-changer and instantly places the album on our 2021's most-anticipated-projects list. The first single kicks off with a countdown before unleashing the joined universes of HK and Verocai. Their worlds blend in transcendental harmony and the result is everything you would've imagined this meeting of the minds to be. Just listen and enjoy the ride.
'Get Sun' is out now on all digital platforms and Mood Valiant will be released on June 25th. Hit that repeat button and make sure to revisit, or discover, their previous work.
Steppin' Into Tomorrow stands with artists & labels and encourages listeners to support by buying their music directly from Bandcamp.