NAO Shares Lessons In Love And Healing On New Album 'And Then Life Was Beautiful'

NAO Shares Lessons In Love And Healing On New Album 'And Then Life Was Beautiful'

September 27, 2021

Following 2018's celestial exploration of vulnerability and soul-searching in the album Saturn, NAO returns with another soul-stirring body of work titled And Then Life Was Beautiful, which she pieced together against the backdrop of countless lockdowns and as she embarked on her journey through motherhood.

Dipping between crisp electronic beats, piano-led ballads all supported by eclectic background vocals, ATLWB is an indicator of NAO's artistic evolution over the years. Featuring previously released sweeteners like "Messy Love", the romantic, afro-pop "Antidote", "Woman", featuring Lianne La Havas's full-bodied vibrato, and the title track, the project also includes additional contribution from R&B maestros Lucky Daye and serpentwithfeet.

NAO's attention to detail is hard to miss here as she knows exactly when to showcase the full extent of her vocal abilities, as on tracks like "Wait", and when to pull back to deliver a delicate performance that is just as enjoyable. Each track across ATLWB contains a flurry of relatable, self-reflective lyrics as she takes us through all of her emotions from feeling burn out to letting go of fruitless relationships and the tenderness of motherhood.

Sharing her thoughts on the album, NAO says: "Life isn't perfect; we still go through ups and downs, but it can be beautiful as a whole. I do think it's a hopeful album, in an honest way – it's not shiny or all 'isn't this great!' and 'party party party.' But it's hopeful that through every rough patch, every dark patch or struggle we always come out again. That's what life is. You keep going. But most of all you try and step into a place of gratitude so that you can see life in all of its beauty."

NAO is soaring to new heights with this project, sink in below.

Words: Blessing Borode
Photography: Lillie Eiger