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Two years after the arrival of her ground-breaking album ‘For All We Know’, the sensational songstress returns in a brand new, never-before-heard dimension of her artistry. The news of the album is accompanied by the announcement of Nao’s official world tour [Dates/Tickets]. Starting off in Japan, she will then go on to perform in North America and Europe, concluding with a show in London’s Brixton Academy on March 28th.

Nao has given a first glimpse into ‘Saturn’ with her phenomenal singles ‘Another Lifetime' and ‘Make It Out Alive’ ft. TDE recording artist SiR. For the East London-raised Nao, this album is a transition. Saturn is about the process of embracing adulthood and contemplating the naivety of youth. It’s both a celebration of new possibilities and a chance to reflect.

My friends kept telling me about the term ‘Saturn Returns’. It’s this idea that Saturn takes 29 years to orbit from when you’re born and it is the planet of blessings and growth. So by the time you’re around 29, between 27 and 32, something big happens in your life. It’s like waking up and coming of age, like: ‘I’ve been going through my twenties and what have I been doing in this relationship?’ What have I been doing in this job?’ You start to rethink everything - old stuff that your parents taught you or ideas that you believed in. It’s like a complete shedding of skin and it can be painful.

On ‘Saturn’, Nao is bold and experimental, eager to push things forward and unafraid to offload ideas that have been weighing her down. On the skipping, afro-beat-flavoured banger ‘Drive & Disconnect’, she raps of her desire to optimise her moment, to power positively forward and swerve the distractions of the modern world. The slinky, pitch-black R&B track ‘Make It Out Alive’ on the other hand, confronts the kind of drama that haunts you for years. “I feel like everybody has a dose of that in their life.” she comments. “For me, it’s like in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep and my mind is swilling and sometimes it can get too extreme. You feel like you can’t make it out.’

The sensual RnB track ‘Curiosity’ covers the more physical side of love in late twenties. “I have to have a seductive track on every album. I had 'Feels Like' on ‘For All We Know’ and this fills the same role. It's one of the more left-field tracks on the album but my sense is the OG Nao fans will like it.” says Nao. “It's quite a visceral song and has that half-time tension which tends to translate really well to the live show. I think it might become a highlight at the show.’

The Mura Masa collaboration ‘If You Ever’ is one of the lighter shades on the album. Filled with drums and bass groove, it boasts an unforgettable, effortlessly enchanting sound. “It's one of my favourites. As a song it's about taking the plunge with someone new, yet familiar. Relationships become more complex as you come out of your teens and twenties, this is an ode to that complexity! I feel like a lot of people my age will know what I'm talking about.’

There’s a real sense push and pull to Saturn — it’s complex and conflicted, but there’s a pervading optimism that makes it timeless, just like Nao herself. “It’s not just about heartbreak, it’s a sense of rebirth,” she says. “It’s soul-searching, you know?'

'Saturn' tracklist:

  1. Another Lifetime
  2. Make it Out Alive (feat SiR)
  3. If You Ever
  4. When Saturn Returns (interlude)
  5. Saturn (feat. Kwabs)
  6. Gabriel
  7. Orbit
  8. Love Supreme
  9. Curiosity
  10. Drive & Disconnect
  11. Don't Change
  12. Yellow of the Sun
  13. A life Like This