London R&B singer NAO visited NPR’s Tiny Desk to perform four songs from her excellent sophomore album Saturn. She brought along a six-member band that rearranged digitally inventive LP cuts like “Bad Blood” and “If You Ever” into warm, minimal grooves. “Orbit,” the studio version of which features pitched-up vocals, feels particularly refreshed as NAO toys with her voice’s many tones. The set closes with a harmony-heavy rendition of the Saturn single “Make It Out Alive.”
NAO also used the opportunity to reflect on the album—one of Spin’s 51 Best of 2018. “The reason why I called the album Saturn is it describes what’s called your Saturn Return, which is about a period of time which happens in your life, usually in your 20s, when something difficult happens. It’s about leaving adolescence and going into adulthood,” she said. Read Spin’s review of the project here.
Watch NAO’s Tiny Desk performance below.