Nai Palm – Needle Paw

nai palmIt’s Sunday and I wanted some chill shit. So, I threw on Nai Palm’s new album. The little blue-eyed soul and R&B singer (don’t actually know if she has blue eyes or not, it’s just the name of the genre where white people sing soul) is the lead singer of one of my favourite new finds, Hiatus Kaiyote. The band’s songs have been sampled by Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak in the last year from their release in 2015. You will hear this band in the future whether you like it or not. I think they’re going to be big big.

The tone of her voice is contagious to an ear. It’s got that ’90s R&B vibe that feels like you’re sitting in a really big bowl of warm milk, smoking a cigar, and laughing. It’s got that thick vocal tracking where boys and girls can really show off those vocal riffs, runs, and trills. Most of the album is a simple guitar, barely changing in style or tone, and vocal mashings and orchestrations thrown together in 7ths and 9ths and shit. It’s broken down, simple in instrumentation, but thick vocally. I could hear someone complain that the album just kind of bleeds together. But I think that’s kinda the fucking point. It’s a bowl of warm milk motherfucker, you want chunks in that shit?! 

Her writing is on point as it sits side by side with a cover of Canadian singer Tamia’s “So Into You”, and a cover of Hendrix’s “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)”. She doesn’t mind paying tribute in the least. This album feels like something that needed to be done, something personal, after her band got overnight famous. My favourite cover on this album is her cover of Bowie’s “Blackstar” (which she got rights to by writing a passionate letter to his estate in order to perform) mixed in with Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”, in the song called, “Blackstar/Pyramid Song/Breathing Underwater”. It shows how far songs can be stretched when they are written well.

I think this album will go under the radar for most. It doesn’t wear enough bright colours or draw enough attention to itself. It’s not that beefed up muscle head that always wears a tight red speedo on the beach. This album dips their feet into the ocean just to feel the warm water rush between its toes and smile. This does not mean that this album is simple. By fuck not! I dare anyone to try to cover one song on this album. Those harmonies are planned motherfucker, and they took weeks to plan and execute. When something sounds this slick, it’s just cause you’re listening to something done that well. For me? This is the perfect Sunday music today, before the rush of Monday hits ya in the face with that stupid bulge in that tiny red speedo. 


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