Last May a mysterious group emerged out of the UK with a Kid Sister affiliation and a fascinating debut album called 5. They followed it up with a whole other album called 7 in September. On these releases, SAULT approached sounds ranging from Motown to psychedelic Afrobeat with an instantly recognizable disposition, one that bridged an elusive artful touch and direct pop appeal. Today, with less than a week’s notice, they’ve returned with another deeply engaging LP.
The new SAULT album, UNTITLED (Black Is), is a 20-track sprawl that never loses sight of its core sound and vision. Michael Kiwanuka and Laurette Josiah make guest appearances, but they’re just individual voices within a collective effort. As implied by titles like “Don’t Shoot Guns Down” and “Sorry Ain’t Enough,” the album is hyper-relevant to the wave of social change that has been sweeping the world. These are minimal, sophisticated, discretely catchy songs that have a lot to say about Black struggle and resilience. “I don’t believe in the myth of the angry Black woman,” a voice intones deep into the tracklist. “I believe in the magic of Blackness.”
SAULT released UNTITLED (Black Is) today as a free download. In a note on their website, they write, “We present our first ‘Untitled’ album to mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives. RIP George Floyd and all those who have suffered from police brutality and systemic racism. Change is happening… We are focused.” They may be from England, but this would seem to be one hell of a soundtrack for America’s Juneteenth holiday today.