Issue August 13, 2013

Tawk Tomahawk

Hiatus Kaiyote
FLYING BUDDHA

We’ll start here: This album is ridiculously good. That it’s gotten picked up by a major and given an extra polish in the Q-Tip featuring remix of “Nakamarra” is inconsequential, though it helped give the record a second push through the blogs and funny papers (waves). The Australian group has been mislabeled “neo-soul,” a dead marketing term from the last decade, and outside a keyboard flourish here and there, is undeserved. Lead singer Nai Palm (yep) bounds over melody, rhythm and expectation with abandon, echoing Bjork, Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano and Bandcamp discovery The Seshen’s Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr. Tawk Tomahawk is the easiest listen of the summer, working in every setting I’ve put it in, and in the crowded musical season that is this summer, rests comfortably at the top of the stack. Essential.