Nao – Make it Out Alive (feat. SiR)

If you aren’t already familiar with Nao, then you will not believe your ears. If you are already familiar with her, you will welcome her voice and electronic, stone-cold R&B chops back into your head with this phenomenal track off her second album Saturn.

As noted in previous posts, I’m not above quoting others’ comments on these pages if I can’t say it better myself. So, well-played anonymous Apple Music editor:

“With her helium-rich voice, global-forward sound that welcomes electronic and Afrobeat influences, Nao is a thinking person’s R&B singer who sounds like nobody else.”

Nao is a new discovery for me and I am *digging* her vibe. Her voice is truly unique; utterly high-pitched, but also elastic and with a surprising depth for the register she’s in. She adds to the effect with really smart electronic manipulation, layering her vocal tracks and adding atmospheric elements to create an ethereal tone — that might otherwise sound airy if it weren’t driven so hard by a series of fantastic beats (Afrobeat; slow jams; 80s R&B; dub step and pop. They’re all here.). While Nao’s sound is her own, I hear influences of Janet Jackson all over this album.

Make it Out Alive was the second single dropped before the record’s release on October 26. They lyrics capture so much of the album’s overall concept, which is steeped in astrology and rife with themes of personal change, mindfulness, rebirth, connection to the universe, and moving beyond past relationships and regrets.

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