Let me tell you about a band. Its name is Hiatus Kaiyote. Bear with me. The singer, Nai Palm (yes, as in napalm) used to be a fire dancer. Still there? Okay, now get the band’s self-dubbed genre: future soul. Oh, and the bio on Hiatus Kaiyote’s website opens with the following: “Every so often a band comes along that… has all the essential elements in place to become a musical movement.” Okay, I know, I know. But don’t go. Seriously. Because this band is incredible.
Trying to tell you about this band is a unique challenge, mostly because of marketing. Every PR rep atSXSW has already used all the words I want to use—exciting, unique, fresh, provocative — to tell you about a bunch of bands that were Nothing Special. And cynical mythmaking, both successful and unsuccessful (with Jack White on one end of that spectrum and poor old Lana Del Rey on the other) has made you suspicious of women like Nai Palm, with her weird bangs and Manic Pixie Dream Girl effervescence and—are those dermal eyebrow piercings?