Nao - For All We Know (Album Review)

Thursday, 11 August 2016 Written by Huw Baines

Debut records often stand or fall on an artists’ ability to effectively curate their own influences as a manageable whole. On ‘For All We Know’, Nao does just that. But there’s something else. Propelled by her effervescent delivery, each nod to the ‘90s, every snappy beat and each strange melody sounds brand new.

For an LP that pinballs between peak Janet Jackson, D’Angelo and, in Nao’s way with an off-kilter hook, FKA Twigs, ‘For All We Know’ is remarkably composed. It doesn’t act like it belongs in such exalted company, it does belong.

Nao moves from the dancefloor punch of Happy to an intoxicating slow jam like Adore You without breaking stride, sharing the stage with nagging melodic flourishes and letting her vocals snake through each vignette. As unusual and powerful as her voice is, she utilises it as a thread in a tapestry rather than building each song around it.

Trophy, which boasts production from A.K Paul, is a case in point. Nao bides her time across the percussive rumble of the verses before grabbing the song by the scruff of the neck come its chorus.

By this point, the approach has already yielded gold on Get To Know Ya, which keeps the listener guessing with a stuttering cadence until the pieces tumble into place.

‘For All We Know’ is an album of technical brilliance with heart to match. From Nao’s performance to lyrics that wax metaphorical about personal rifts, mental illness and the give-and-take of relationships, it’s one hell of an opening statement.

Nao Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue October 25 2016 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Wed October 26 2016 - GLASGOW Art School
Thu October 27 2016 - LEEDS University Stylus
Sat October 29 2016 - BRIGHTON All Saints Church
Sun October 30 2016 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2
Tue November 01 2016 - BRISTOL Motion
Thu November 03 2016 - LONDON O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Fri November 04 2016 - LONDON O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

Click here to compare & buy Nao Tickets at


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