Back in 2016, British singer and producer NAO’s debut full-length For All We Know exploded elements of funk, soul, R&B, and pop with meticulous attention to detail, swooping bass, and studiously cool, neon-hued clarity. Today, she returns with “Another Lifetime,” the first single from a yet-to-be-formally-announced second album. The song’s densely layered vocal arrangement sounds warmer and lusher than ever, as NAO ties together co-existing feelings of resignation and hope. “How I wish perfect was enough for my own heart,” she sings, but it sounds like she’s ready to forgive herself, too.
In a press release, NAO offered this explanation of how “Another Lifetime” came to be:
“I was told writing my second album would be tough but so much has happened in my personal life since ‘For All We Know’ the songs just wrote themselves. ‘Another Lifetime’ came right at the end of both the writing process and an emotional process I’d been going through dealing with the breakup of a special long term relationship. Finishing the song felt like the full stop I needed to put on a difficult period of my life, so the next day I was like ‘that’s it, I’ve finished the album and this is the first song I want people to hear from it.'”
NAO’s forthcoming second album doesn’t yet have a title or release date. Last night, Nile Rodgers and Chic debuted “Boogie All Night,” a new song featuring NAO and past collaborator Mura Masa. Listen to “Another Lifetime” below.