The galvanizing power of good music is a strong force, especially in the middle of an ordinary week. A visibly grown and diverse crowd packed into Vinyl to see what many are already calling their "new favorite band."
After about 35 minutes with no opening act, a 40-ish brunette in the crowd, with blond highlights, said, "They're late; I have to take my kids to school in the morning." Still, she stayed till the end of the show. A pair of sisters with their own soul music aspirations dropped in after hearing about the band earlier that afternoon. A former colleague was brought by a friend who told him that he would "love them." There was also a couple that drove in from Birmingham, Ala to kick off the celebration of their tenth wedding anniversary.
Host DJ Kemit introduced Hiatus Kaiyote, who opened with the softly entrancing "Lace Skull" and moved through the duration of their debut album, Tawk Tomahawk. Several times the group's front woman, Nai Palm, looked as surprised as the audience to see where the band was going sonically, but never lost her footing. Instead, she moved from guitar to the keyboard, riding the current of beat and chord changes like a skilled surfer on the crest of a wave.
Nai Palm truly knows the importance of singing to the souls of women. The crowd swayed, raised their hands, and sang along to the lead single "Nakamarra," the singer's poetic tribute to her dear friend Hannah who works with mentally challenged artists in the Aboriginal community.
"Malika" similarly pays homage to a prominent, but unknown female figure in the lead singer's life. Local dancer and photographer, Malika Deshon, was so moved by her meeting with Nai Palm earlier at Moods Music in L5P, with coincidences not only in the song's name but in such experiences as their love of the jasmine flower and travels through Australia, that she was asked to join the group onstage with freeform movement to accompany the music.
After short solos from all members: Simon Mavin on the keyboards, drummer Perrin Moss, and bassist Paul Bender, the band closed with the indigenously groovy space vibe of "Shaolin Monk Motherfunk" and gracious thanks to the audience.
Hopefully, Hiatus Kaiyote's definition of "future soul" includes more frequent visits to Atlanta.
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