The moment has finally arrived! After 6 years of patient waiting, Melbourne-based soul / funk / jazz group Haitus Kaiyote have signed to Brainfeeder Records and returned with a brand new album titled Mood Valiant. I’ve been a fan of theirs since their 2013 album Tawk Tomahawk and their 2015 masterpiece Choose Your Weapon – an album I still have on rotation to this day. Their melodies are catchy and colourful, while the textured and lush instrumentation have always made them such a riveting and exciting band to listen to. On Mood Valiant, the talented group combines sweet, colourful melodies with heavy basslines and drums, with eclectic beat arrangements and compositions that sound urgent at times, and softer and more sensual at others. That Brainfeeder influence is heavy and that’s what I love about it.
The 42-minute album comprises of 12 beautifully composed tracks, with lush guitar leads, strings and beats. Whether it’s the heavy, almost tribal sound of their lead single “Get Sun” featuring Arthur Verocai, or the driving groove of “Chivalry Is Not Dead”, the group is able to bring hypnotic melodies and grooves that just sound so potent and overwhelming. There are more softer and subdued moments on the album of course, such as the incredible “And We Go Gentle” and “Red Room”, as Nai Palm flexes her vocal range on both tracks. The drumming, combined with the lavish keys and guitar leads on both tracks make them mesmeric and hypnotic listens. Nai Palm’s delicate and gorgeous vocal performance throughout this project is truly exceptional, and showcases her range perfectly. The way it sounds like she’s harmonising on “Sparkle Tape Break Up” is so great, and the intensity of the drumming, basslines and guitar leads makes for an enthralling and super inspiring listen. The piano-driven “Stone Or Lavender” is such a mesmeric track as well. Nai Palm’s soulful vocals are as sweet as honey and just sound so potent next to these delicate compositions. It’s Nai Palm’s purity and honesty that also makes this quite a fascinating listen. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, which was obviously a massive scare for her. After she undergoing a life-saving mastectomy and eventually recovering, the tone of the album shifted to something different to what they had planned. They went to Rio de Janeiro to work with Brazilian legend Arthur Verocai on their single “Get Sun”, and it was the work they did with him and Brazil alchemy that made this project such a stunning and spiritual listen.
Haitus Kaiyote have once again showed us why they’re one of the most exciting bands making music today. Textured, emotionally potent and incredibly soulful, Mood Valiant is Hiatus Kaiyote’s most captivating and dynamic album to date. It’s such a free-spirited album that perfectly captures the eclectic, dynamic, and groove-centric qualities of their music, and Nai Palm’s incredible vocals make this a soulful, soothing and beautiful listen. Go support!