Review: NAO – ‘Bad Blood’

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Slow Burner

Very chilled and is easy to vibe to, however production slightly overshadows NAO's vocals leaving the listener wondering if she is the main artist.

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London-based artist NAO’s latest release ‘Bad Blood’ is the first single from her upcoming debut album. Perhaps an initial slow burner sonically, it gradually shifts from a disappointment to a beautifully vibe heavy track.

The song’s start is promising, as NAO showcases her unique tone and her impressive vocal range, especially with her lower pitched vibrato – thus there is no doubt that she is both a talented vocalist and songwriter. However when first hearing this song it feels as if her voice is overshadowed by the backing instrumentation, almost as if it was a beautifully produced instrumental that happened to feature a singer.

But upon reflection, this song isn’t meant to be vocally over-produced. Yes the instrumentation is extremely dominant, particularly throughout the chorus, but it serves a purpose. The heavy synths and simple drum pattern coupled with NAO’s light vocals achieve its goal of being a vibed out track – which fits perfectly with the aesthetic many contemporary soul artists on SoundCloud have seemed to adopt.

Despite the chorus perhaps being too simple lyrically, especially in comparison to previous tracks such as ‘Take Control Of You’, the syncopation of her wording detracts from its apparent simplicity, adding to the chilled vibes of the song.

‘Bad Blood’ is available to stream now via Soundcloud.

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3rd Year Spanish & Linguistics student. Singer-songwriter. Flesh & Bones.

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