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Taken from Qobuz Magazine (Jul 02, 2024)

Album of the Week: Hiatus Kaiyote - Love Heart Cheat Code

Step into "future soul" with the fourth album from the Aussie group who break down all barriers.

by Robert Baird

Courtesy Image
Hiatus Kaiyote. Courtesy Image

Played with great precision and talent, Hiatus Kaiyote's self-described "Future Soul"-a blend of funk, electronica, and soul-feels improvised and forever fresh. Best known for the songwriting and voice of Naomi "Nai Palm" Saalfield, Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote has fully become a band of equals. At least that's what Chaka Khan told them backstage one night, which is not surprising considering how often echoes of Rufus can be heard on Love Heart Cheat Code.

The surging, gentle intro to "Dreamboat" starts out with strings and harp flourishes, followed by Saalfield's passionate singing. Chirping birds open "Telescope," which contemplates outer space, referencing Sun Ra with the line, "And space is the place," before posing that eternal dilemma of altered consciousness, "Is it Kush? Or Outer Space?" The foursome stay gentle on "Make Friends" over a crawling, intricate rhythm while Saalfield asserts, "Who we like, who we ignore/ You don't make friends, you recognize them," before she decides to "sock it to you straight" with the flirty, "I could be your ride or die/ I could be the sun/ I could be a pain in your ass/ I could give you all of my yum yum.

Hiatus Kaiyote - Live at The Evelyn

"Everything's Beautiful" is similarly light and playful, with bassist Paul Bender, keyboardist Simon Mavin, and drummer Perrin Moss, most notably, locking into a dancing groove that mixes the joy of Earth, Wind & Fire with flashes of Lauryn Hill, George Clinton, Janelle Monáe and the song's positive, ecstatic message. Another audible presence is the work of engineer Mario Caldato Jr. who has worked with the Beastie Boys, another of Hiatus Kaiyote's primal influences. The overall sound is processed and layered but manages to retain enough spark to keep it believable. A pair of favorites from the band's live shows concludes Love Heart Cheat Code. "Cinnamon Temple" is powered by heavy, buzzy guitar riffs that Saalfield has said are inspired by Malian rhythms. The band's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" swings between shouted, distorted vocals over a pounding beat and leisurely, psychedelic verses. A spectacular live act, Hiatus Kaiyote has now learned how to capture that spontaneity in the studio.

Love Heart Cheat Code coverart

Love Heart Cheat Code
Hiatus Kaiyote

Released on 5/30/24 by Brainfeeder

Main artist: Hiatus Kaiyote
Genre: Alternative & Indie

Available in
24-Bit/44.1 kHz




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