If you haven’t heard of SAULT, you are not alone. They are anonymous, secretive, and mysteriously cool. The group dropped two albums in 2019 titled 5 & 7. Then came back in 2020 with Untitled (Black is) & Untitled (Rise). If you are keeping count, that’s 4 albums in less than two years. While most contemporary artists push out instagram posts faster than singles, SAULT dropped four albums in under 18 months, all of which are hauntingly powerful, idiosyncratic, masterpieces.
In 5 & 7, you find a mix of funk, soul, and disco-dance bangers. Veins of your favorite genre of music are sprinkled throughout the work with class and elegance that few artists can handle. With strong foundations in afro-beats, and P.H.A.T. bass (Plush, Heavy, Aggressive, Thick), the album glides from song to song with ease. Their enigmatic sound is highlighted in “Masterpiece”, a silky smooth love song that transports the listener to a warm spring day. Then as suddenly as you were taken there, “Foot on Necks” comes slamming through your speakers. You are hit with a heavy bass line, hard snare, and lyrics like, “you shoot to kill, cause you know you’ll get away with it” and “how does your wife even sleep with this”.
This is where Untitled (Black is) & Untitled (Rise) come into the fold. They represent an evolution of their music, spurred by the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Their third and fourth albums are unapologetically Black and revolutionary. In some songs you find a call to arms, in some you find a call for love, but all are unadulterated exposés of the Black experience. They cry, celebrate, uplift, and break down. It’s undeniably real music, it’s the truth. SAULT lives, in activism, in music with a message, and perhaps that’s why they choose to stay anonymous. They let their music speak for itself, without tainting it’s power with fame, or names, or social media campaigns. Whatever the reason, and whoever they are, their music is revolutionary, and we as listeners just need to sit back, listen, and learn.
As always, be excellent to each other, and party on!
Editor’s Picks: “Free”, “Masterpiece”, “Wildfires”
- Written by Phillip Thompson
November 12, 2020