Reviewed on Thursday June 5
The intriguing frontwoman for the Grammy-nominated Australian future soul band Hiatus Kaiyote took to the newly opened Newtown Social Club for a solo show. Nai Palm delivers honesty and soul through her storytelling, all with no more accompaniment tonight than her guitar. The night was kept very much in the family with support from Hiatus Kaiyote’s drummer Clever Austin.
Although Newtown Social Club, with its new fit and low stage, provided a backdrop that would have suited the full band lineup, for an intimate solo set the atmosphere wasn’t ideal. However, that’s where the criticism of Nai Palm’s solo show ends.
It goes without saying that there is something special about this ethereal woman, who’s become somewhat of a leader of the Australian nu-soul movement. With fans such as neo-soul queen Erykah Badu and collaborations with artists like Taylor McFerrin under her belt, Palm is a force to be reckoned with. As she ran through her hour-long set, Palm showed how it’s done. To captivate an audience is a gift in itself, and one that worked in Palm’s favour. Her songs have ebbs and flows, they are textured and coloured sonically, with the ability to send the listener off into reverie. These textures, along with those soulful vocals of hers, which effortlessly floated over her guitar riffs, allowed Palm on her own to grab the audience’s attention and hold tight for the duration of her set.