There’s been an unsteady marriage between EDM and R&B for some time now, with one genre borrowing from the other and with both occasionally collaborating wholesale. The two have an uneven history; EDM is all sharp edges and quick drops, while R&B is smooth and steady. When an artist is able to blur the two until you can’t tell which genre you’re listening to, you’ve found something special.
Nao is a singer/producer from London, and last month she released her second EP, February 15, and it sounds like she’s mastered that blurring. “Inhale Exhale” is the other single from that EP, and it’s just as great, though more frenetic. “Apple Cherry” would be soothing in its chillness if it weren’t so soaked in unrequited love. She belongs right alongside FKA twigs and Dawn Richard as our foremost purveyors of sensuousness. Here’s to hoping she can break out in ways that those two haven’t and that their male counterparts, like The Weeknd or Miguel, have.