NME Australia cover stars Hiatus Kaiyote are the latest band to perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) series, decking out their Preston-based studio space with props to deliver a truly unique set, both musically and aesthetically.
Playing as a septet with the addition of Alejandro ‘Silentjay’ Abapo, Laura Christoforidis and Jace Excell all joining frontwoman Nai Palm on vocals, the band performed a five-track setlist of cuts from their career-defining third album, ‘Mood Valiant’.
On the intention behind their polychromatic space cluttered with fabrics, flowers and figurines – not to mention the dancers all dressed in slightly unsettling, fur-laden costumes – Palm told NPR’s Abby O’Neill: “I’m a treasure hunter at heart.
“The beautiful thing about dressing a set with sentimental [artefacts] from my house is that I feel super comfy to perform.”
Zen out with Hiatus Kaiyote’s Tiny Desk concert below:
Hiatus Kaiyote released ‘Mood Valiant’ back in June via the Flying Lotus-backed Brainfeeder label, supporting it with the singles ‘Red Room’, ‘Chivalry Is Not Dead’ and ‘Get Sun’ – the latter of which they also gave an enthralling performance of for ABC’s The Set. It marked their first album in six years, though members filled the blanks with side-projects like Swooping.
NME awarded ‘Mood Valiant’ a four-star review upon release, writer Cyclone Wehner saying: “Hiatus Kaiyote have journeyed far to create a restorative album that provides sanctuary, hope and possibility in uncertain times. Indeed, by solidifying their blend of poetry, soul and funk, ‘Mood Valiant’ stands as Hiatus Kaiyote’s most resonant album yet.”
The album also made NME’s list of top releases for June 2021, writer David James Young saying Hiatus Kaiyote embraced “a newfound sense of purpose within the music that makes ‘Mood Valiant’ so very satisfying”.
Speaking to NME, Palm said the title ‘Mood Valiant’ is a nod to her mother. “I don’t know how she afforded it, but she had two Valiant station wagons. One was black and one was white,” she said.
“And we were ratbags. She would drive the white one usually, and whenever she’d had enough of our nonsense, she would drive the black one. On those days it would be like, ‘Today’s the day you don’t mess with the boss’.”