Revive Interview: Nai Palm Reveals The Inner Workings Of Hiatus Kaiyote
The Hiatus Kaiyote new-album-blitz continues, and we couldn’t possibly be more pleased. Earlier this week the Australian neo-soul-prog group’s frontwoman Nai Palm chatted with our good friends at Revive, and the resulting conversation shed ample light on the shapeshifting specter that is the band’s recorded catalog. As the world prepares for impact with the group’s sophomore release, Choose Your Weapon, Nai’s words are a kind of Rosetta Stone for the tricker syllables of their sonic language.
CYW is “a natural progression of our relationship as musicians together,” Palm told Revive. “I feel like it’s kind of a commentary on the fact that so much music is temporary now and everyone is just looking to release the next hot single. This record is in tribute to listening to an album from start to finish where there is a narrative that takes you to all these different soundscapes.”
Palm also put to rest any suspicious that, with its formidable length, Choose Your Weapon should be taken to be a concept album:
Every little element creates a bigger picture and the bigger picture is the narrative of our shared creativity together. Even though your ideas are all over the place, your ideas will vary a lot if you’re really true to your own expression. For example, we have a song called “Atari,” which is a tribute to vintage game consoles and we have a song “Swamp Thing,” which is kind of like my tribute to “Thriller” and it’s sort of telling a horror story. But at the end of it you’re nurturing the person and at the end I’m the villain. That was an interpretation of “Thriller.” But there’s all these different themes from song to song, but somehow it’s cohesive because the ideas are diverse but we’re not over-trying and we’re allowing the songs to be what they need to be. The beauty of this project is that the overall theme is the unity of our four-way collaboration and that plays out really naturally.
As the interview continues, Ms. Palm describes the experience of writing and workshopping new song on the road, and traces the lineage of a few tracks back to her teenage years. It’s an excellent interview–a must-read for HK fans–and you can check it all out over in the pages of Revive.